Tiny Sun

By MARGOT DOUAIHY

I always hide behind my hair, even when I don’t have hair. I disappeared
inside my shaved head, identity de facto of college, coming out. Camouflaged
in plain sight, a faux reveal, ersatz openness of skin & neck. But the locks
grew back, as confused as I was. I keep inventing new ways to duck: my long
hair & manicure, kitten heels & denim skirts. At the Cherry Tavern, a frat
boy barked when I refused his drink: “But you don’t look gay.” Describing
me to a new friend, my mom called me a lollipop lesbian. “Sorry, I meant
lipstick!” What if there were infinite ways to be at ease—each one surpris-
ing? Thirty spokes join together, but it is the empty center that allows the
wheel to roll. What is Earth but a rock spinning on ice? Gravity’s just a
high-wire walk. To x-ray joy reveals a tug-of-war between crying & laughing,
because all things end. Look at the delicate skin of the quarterback, his thin
fingers as he passes. How lithe is the woman with her blond hair, holding
a hammer like she invented it. Don’t we all inherit hot & cold, January &
June, a comet & moon? Even now as it roars the rain holds light—
so bright—as if a tiny sun burned in each drop.

Margot Douaihy is the author of the forthcoming book Girls Like You (Clemson University Press, 2015) and I Would Ruby If I Could. Her writing and interviews have been featured in The Sow’s Ear Review, The Madison Review, The Moth, Belle Reve Literary Journal, The Catamaran Literary Reader, and The New Guard Literary Reviewwww.margotdouaihy.com

[Purchase your copy of Issue 09 here.]

Tiny Sun

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