He comes to see me.
In the raspberry patch he says, I would like to eat your hair.
Can I cut some, he asks?
I hold up a lock from the front. I should have held up one from the back because for months I will look at myself in the mirror but always notice first the absent hair. Yes, in the future, every time I look into the mirror, before I see me, I’ll see him first.
He takes out a knife and moves it back and forth. He smells it.
Smells like fall, he says.
He puts my hair into his jacket pocket.
What if she finds it? I ask.
She won’t, he says.
He cups my face with his hands and kisses me. I feel softer than I’ve felt for months, a feeling I’m a little uncomfortable with. Overhead: birds.
Elizabeth Schmuhl’s work appears or is forthcoming in Michigan Quarterly Review, Pank, Big Lucks, Birkensnake, Paper Darts and elsewhere. She illustrates essays for The Rumpus and makes small movement films. Find her online at elizabethschmuhl.com.