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The Interdisciplinary Work of Lyss Warmland.

Twenty-six.
Karen, I see you
Your hair used to reach 3/4 of the way
To that space where your waist curves in
Where your lover used to hold you
But now you can’t stand to be touched 
by the end of the day

You cut your hair because your baby,
Captivated by its colour 
when it catches the light,
Grabs the front pieces that had just started to
Grow back
Postpartum hair loss 
Doesn’t include the loss from infants
Manually extracting hairs from their mothers but it’s never looked less like yours
And more like his

You cut your hair because 
Who has time to style it when 
It’s more important 
To chase after your newly mobile son
And you lost your curls when he
Lived in your body 
His first home
You thought he may have stolen them
The way he stole your childhood birthmark
But his hair is straighter than an arrow

Karen, I see you when you lose it
At the coffee shop barista because
She put cows milk in your almond milk order
Because your body can’t process cows milk
Since everything changed 
And it’s the first time you’d spoken to 
Another adult all day and
No one has listened to you in nine months
So that almond milk order was your attempt
To reach out for what you needed and
It went unheard 

Karen, 
That barista is someone’s baby
And she phoned her mother during her
Cigarette break from her shift 
To reach out to her verbally because
She hasn’t seen her in nine months 
Because she has to work to pay her rent and
Her mother has been sick for years and 
She just doesn’t know what 

the right thing 

to do 

is

Just like you don’t really know what he right thing

To do

Is

I see you, Karen, 
You feel unheard because you are
And so is she
And this isn’t new
This isn’t about milk
This isn’t about masks
This isn’t about care
This is about desperation. 

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