Do not call my hair nappy.

You have lips as loose as your curls

and you move them both, carelessly.

You don’t know anything about my curls.

My curls have learned to keep their guard up

from a very young age.

My curls don’t bow for no one.

They have been tense ever since they sprouted up

out of this land mass of a scalp.

My curls are like crabs in a bucket,

holding each other down with a vice grip.

My curls bathe in relaxer.

My curls suffer pomade drownings and live to tell the story.

My curls experience the same restrictions as my body.

They have been conditioned on more than one occasion.

But laying so close to my brain, they are always inches away from consciousness, always aware of their position on the hair hierarchy.

Run your fingers through my hair and my curls will coil around you.

They will grab at anything that holds life,

trying to survive the turmoil.