Each day I put on pants

by S.B. Corfman

My mother doesn’t remember 

 

a conversation about long hair, how 

it wasn’t allowed. The passive voice 

 

is intentional. It’s likely such a conversation 

 

never happened. Who, then, is to blame 

which small allele—other than a previous 

 

conversation about painted nails extrapolated 

 

to each nerve, which, you’re right 

isn’t the same thing at all? I haven’t spoken to Jeff 

 

in maybe twenty years, but Jeff did in fact grow 

 

out of a skirt, so he’s low hanging fruit 

for parents who play hide and seek 

 

each night but can’t believe their children 

 

hide in their minds, too,  

pomegranates thrown like tomatoes 

 

at the therapists supposedly carving 

 

crawlspaces in the back of that mind. 

How much a child—anyone—keeps 

 

from another. They’re not inventing it, 

 

I promise you. They’re not ready  

until they’re ready to talk, because  

 

each projection fades as it roots 

 

in the world. I wear pants and run 

 

up to the line that separates the shape 

of my body from the shape 

 

between us. I am skeptical 

 

even as I am still living. It turns out by the late twenties 

many people’s hair begins 

 

to thin. It never occurred to me. 

 

I had certain expectations and they are confronted 

by each biological pattern: 

 

DNA, epigenetics, hormones. 

 

Each system stays complex. 

There is no such thing as a spot fix.