DeMisty Bellinger

Issue One

IV: You Are

I have let myself go— / this is a sickness
and I need handholding. / my hair has

grown maybe an inch when / I wasn’t watching.
or washing it. I let it grow. / my various curl

patterns whirl into each other across
different sections of my head, my hair,

not quite an afro / collects more than cascades,
goes upward on the sides I sleep on, forming

a three-sided box of coils—
—It is winter leaves

tenaciously holding onto oak trees, browning and
twisting in on themselves, hugging closely, / You

take me, you place me on the floor,
between your thighs / You work a

wide-toothed comb over my head, you are hair-
dresser /You are healer. You are mountain-mover, you

are godlike

you, parting my wooly hair / placating
me. You are here for me.

About DeMisty Bellinger
DeMisty D. Bellinger lives and teaches in Massachusetts. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Rubbing Elbows (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and the full-length collection Peculiar Heritage, forthcoming with Mason Jar Press, in 2021. DeMisty is a poetry editor with Porcupine Literary and with Malarkey Books. You can find her online at