Dark brown clumps of hair paint the shower walls.
They slide down
to clog the drain.
Stress. Stress can do this.
But so can disease and genes.
Stress. I stress too much.
Maybe it’s all in my head, each hair clinging
to my skin, snaking around my arms and legs.
I ignore it.
More hair wraps around my fingers as I slip conditioner through the tangles.
This is real.
I swap out my shampoo.
I take up yoga.
My friends notice.
They stop telling me that it’s stress.
Scalp peeks through no matter where I flip the part,
no matter how carefully I pull the strands back.
I see the doctor,
receive a diagnosis,
Strands keep falling from the follicle;
they break in half.
I count each individual hair,
measure the circumference of my ponytail,
measure my worth.
Type “bald” into Google.
Find men or cancer.
Type “beauty” into Google.