“Hot Iron” by Mather Schneider

Mather Schneider


She uses a flat hot iron
to straighten her hair.
It has a porcelain handle
and burning platypus jaws
and each morning she gets up
and plugs it in the wall.
You can smell it getting hot.
Her hair is a gorgeous blue black
Mexican mane, but her ex
slapped her face
told her she was ugly
and her hair was too curly
every day until it stuck.
It’s a delicate operation:
to change who you are
without burning your scalp.
It’s been eleven years
since she’s seen him, calls
another country home now
but she still gets up
and plugs in that hot iron
every morning. It’s ready
when your spit sizzles.

from A Bag of Hands
2017 Rattle Chapbook Prize Selection


Mather Schneider: “I don’t like trying to come up with something clever for these things. I write poetry and prose when there is something I want to put down. I don’t like writing for the hell of it. My favorite desert animal is the javelina, which looks just like a little pig.” (web)

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