Nails in My Hair
Lately I’ve been combing nails
from my hair: finishing nails,
bright and wiry. Too bad I’m not
a master carpenter busy
installing molding or trim.
It’s a good thing you never run
your fingers through my hair anymore.
Alone in the bathroom I marvel
at the handfuls of nails I find
in the tub after my shower.
Maybe I’ve too much iron
in my diet, but how does it smelt
to steel and shape itself? Maybe
my follicles have crazed with age.
I’ve broken the teeth from combs,
but the nails don’t scratch my scalp;
they just rattle to the floor
like teeth from a shattered dragon.
If you knew, you’d insist I see
my doctor. She’d run a gloved hand
through my hair and gather nails,
and her weak little face would clench
with effort as she tries to think
it through. Medical school
prepares no one for nails in the hair.
I have to dress for work. No way
to pull a sweater over my head,
so I button up a cardigan
and hope it doesn’t rain icy
autumn rain. I’m afraid the rust
would spread, streaking down my face
and tainting my sorry brain.