Performance by Sarosh Nandwani

the curls waltzed into my life
during puberty.
I saw my mother’s stoic straightening.
I already knew the steps to this dance.

still, I had a nagging feeling
& enough burnt ears to realize
if my hair grew out a certain way,
wasn’t it meant to?

when I finally had enough
of the bright lights
in the hair salon
that didn’t have sulfate-free shampoo,

I asked the keratin treatments
to exit the theater,
told the straightener
I no longer required
its backstage services,

& I put on a show

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