My Hair Panthers Midnight
Joanne Godley

whorls of Marley knotty dreads
cat outgrowths of tangled tomentum
my midnight hair is panther

fur-kinks of Panthera pardus
undulate while others sleep
panther, midnight is my hair

dare you brush this melanated woolly?
snakelike curlicues snarl at you
hair, my panther’s midnight

try to grasp curls-they grasp back
the mystery of these coils foreign to you
panther is my midnight hair

Tignon laws say cage it up
this Medusa-mop of might
my hair is midnight, panther

Samson sparks emit from my head
twists wave serpiginous
midnight, panther, is my hair

a force-field of fuzz, hair of leopard noir
perceived uppity, hair won’t hold a job
my panther is midnight hair

projected angry, hair’s unleashable
ill-behaved, wild, like I just like it
is midnight, my panther hair  

may seem impolite (but to whom?)
advice to you: my hair’s no zoo
best not pet my midnight panther

Joanne Godley lives in Alexandria where she writes poetry and prose and gardens aeroponically. She is a physician, now practicing virtually. Her poetry has been published in the Bellevue Literary Review, Mantis, Kosmos, among others. She was twice nominated for a Pushcart prize. Her chapbook, Picking Scabs from the Body History, was published in 2020.

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