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Bay Poets

'My Hair' by poet Briana Victoria Leung

Briana Victoria Leung is a 19-year-old Bay Area based queer non-binary Afro Asian Latinx storyteller and healer who has been writing, performing and competing in the local slam poetry scene for the last eight years.

My Hair

When I was born

I had a full head of hair

My mama told me

the Earth must’ve kissed me

on the top of my head

for everything grows out of me

I’d grow up to be the foundation of a garden

everyone would harvest flowers from

pick and pick at my baby’s breath

they’d always leave behind the weeds

My hair jumped from slave ships

anchored herself to the sea floor

She shall not be moved

Doesn’t conform to chains or hair ties

She is stubborn

The only style she seems to wear effortlessly is


My hair goes to church on sundays

only allowing hands covered in beeswax and molasses to bless her

with tradition that don’t die

My hair clasps her hands in prayer

leans her neck back

says amen

sings gospel like nobody’s listening

My hair sings volumes so loud she leads the choir

My hair can cook

She sings corazón espinado when she makes pozole

Always adds too much cayenne pepper

even though she says there’s no such thing

On Christmas she folds herself into tamales

so her children have something to unwrap

She is a mixture of blood, flour and nostalgia

always tells stories at the dinner table

She grows naranjas with a citrus orange streaks and mango highlights

weaving between colors

Each strand is a story that refused to be erased