Poem: Hairlong


Photo by Marcela Oliveira from Pexels

[Image Description: Young woman with long red hair sits on the road. She is wearing a blue dress and combat boots. Her mascara is smudged as if she was crying.]

Poem by Siena Ho

Content Warning: Mentions of sexual assault


since early teenhood i have kept my hair
long enough to strangle. put two and two
and twelve together and that is the length
of metamorphosis: a girl ready to pounce:
a ready-made girl. girl with a blade within.

it’s the innocence. i drink hatred
to grow up faster, to flush remains
of looks imprinted in skin: it is a sin to tempt,
so i cut jagged ends in front of the
mirror. if i wear myself as a weapon
where does the dagger point to.

i sit in a bathroom, crying
from the heat of a stranger’s palm. every time
i fall i stand up stronger but
beforehand i crumple into fetal position /
used tissue paper. is this my worth.

i belong nowhere / everyone.

is this an initiation of
womanhood. recite: i am
16 years ready. i am the armor of a
million strands. i grow nooses
that do not dry tears. bare my neck
and the tips touch my waist.
the scissors lie dead / i do not move.

Siena Ho Shun Yi (she/her), is a 16 year old writer from Hong Kong and Malaysia. Her MBTI type is ESTP and her current favourite food is tomato soup.