Alex Streiff


Says, brush for brush,
apostrophe contained in its length, all black once.
This can happen and has happened: fallen out, hair, fallen out
of favor, of the manner born or burned at the stake, for the stakes are always
high, hair-raising & for whose breath there isn’t a forty-eighth part of an inch,
& so, in leaving, isn’t the escape theater therefore female?
Half-seas over, there’s a kelp curtain being opened in the ocean,
mermaid table upon which to lay down bone tooth of the comb.
Finger-weave. Wax-weave. Fair to the dark hour and in red.
The head’s lush default.There’s a North American Indian scalp-lock,
Moslem tuft hidden toward Paradise for coming home, Dido’s hair dragged
down into the gold grass, its cut likeness, our Heir Apparent, if she outlives,
not from free informal manner, down, but in vexation, torn, turned white
in a single night’s sitting, sudden fear, the very moon’s exclamation’s trick—
that & that whose forelock first cut off as offering to the dark queen? Or know,
Marie Antoinette’s imprisonment grief was grey, made blind as winter
where December’s name is somewhat so misplaced in a hair-pin turn in the road.
Don’t forget: breathed into, strung, did stand with yours, braided bijou raiment
for curl…girl.There to unfix or sugar, assemble for color, dying stars whose
color rhyme can’t be trusted, ingrained & distinguished from the body, falls.
Fallen, sexually pulled back as she sees the ceiling, knows the sky beyond it,
always in motion or in cadenza-caught like memory, rooted
or rooted-out, ousted like love, from its original Latin, the lately route to
the wash in Amish rain, carrying its verbs exhale & inhale while drying…
ixnay amscray, they. Fallen without weight… Have you
then, one by one, plucked from the horse’s tail?
Irresistible, raising & barret as best,
feeling coarse in death malady’s own antidote-bite.
Hair for hail, quiet scandal in itself, the sojourn-beauty for you,
yet believes its own sentiment strand.

Alex Streiff is the fiction editor of The Journal.
  • Coda
    Simone Muench & Jackie K. White