by Sarah Sarai

After my mother died from Jesus I left my hair color alone. If it’s just fucking you want, or all you can handle, a decent cut will do.

We laughed, me and her, when she stopped. It was the same faded blond she’d been covering.

Once I quit, my hair prospered gray and white and where you rubbed my nape, auburn, like my locks when California sun baked them red. When I was waiting to be something or someone. And still didn’t realize the woman who was my mother read only that bit of her job description on good shoes and teaching four daughters how to assemble do-it-yourself installations of shame.

In the year of covid-fear all the hairs on my head turned shock-white, all white, only white.

Back when Mom was killing herself in the name of Jesus my next oldest sister jumped shock-white. She did that over and over pleading thing, too. Stop, stop, stop. No changing Mom, is what I knew.

Though one time I floated my theory on the limitations of Jesus, who I like outside of church.  Mom kept dying.

Volition and a misreading of human possibility. Are the careless and evil winning?