We’re all aware that human hair is dead

Yet we spend thousands taking care of it.

It’s like an endless funeral.


The moment your hair hits air, it’s toast.

It only lives inside the follicle.

That we twist and burn and fry it,


Straighten it and dye it, does not surprise.

What’s it gonna do, spit out your cheap shampoo?

We worry about its body and its strength: an athlete.


We buy nourishing products. It doesn't eat.

One hundred thousand lovers, infants, metaphors

Of keratin, our stone dead hairs.

Bibliographical info

Sarah Tolmie, “31” from The Art of Dying. Copyright © 2018 by Sarah Tolmie. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: The Art of Dying (McGill–Queen's University Press, 2018)

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