The Mirror Is Still Covered with Fog

by Katie Manning

“The Mirror Is Still Covered with Fog” was selected for THE BODY poetry longlist.

I used to feel furious with the girls who
left their hair on the wall of the dorm
shower, like exposed veins or spider’s
webs waiting to cling to my wet skin.

Now your hair has turned the shower
wall into a barbershop floor, the locks
flowing off like water in your hands
when the promised baldness arrives.

This is the smallest of the year’s regrets,
yet I can’t help but stare at the hair-
covered wall the way I stared when we saw
that pickup fishtail and flip on the freeway.

You shave the last strands that hang on
like silence. Your bald scalp shines like
a new world. To rub my hand over your
smooth skin is now the most intimate act.

Katie Manning is the founding editor-in-chief of Whale Road Review and an associate professor of writing at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. She is the author of Tasty Other, which won the 2016 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, and four chapbooks, including The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman. Her poems have appeared in december, New Letters, Poet Lore, Verse Daily, and many other journals and anthologies. Find her online at katiemanningpoet.com.

Artwork by: Andreea Ch