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Monday, March 14, 2022


by Melissa Balmain

Locklan Samples, diagnosed with uncombable hair syndrome (UHS), a rare genetic disorder of the hair shaft.

Uncombable hair? Well, of course it’s a thing:
we’ve arrived in uncombable times
with uncombable dangers, umcombable ills,
and uncombable thought paradigms.
Nuts with guns are uncombable (so we’ve been told)—
we are doomed to uncombable grief.
Piles of nukes are uncombable; superbugs too,
and decay in the Barrier Reef.
Our hatreds? Uncombable. Ditto our loves
of red meat, SUVs, fossil fuel,
and the systems permitting too few of our kids
to be nourished and housed and in school.
Yes, it’s all so uncombable: that’s what we’ll hear
as we fall and the rising sea foams—
unless our uncombable powers that be
can agree on some new fucking combs.

Melissa Balmain edits Light, America's longest-running journal of comic poetry. Her newest book of verse is The Witch Demands a Retraction: Fairy Tale Reboots for Adults (Humorist Books). @MelissaBalmain