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Years ago, I used to star my nails with moons, and beam their light into my brows, my lips, and, of course, my hair. I saw myself on billboard signs I passed from school each day, a face you can’t ignore, a face that everyone adores.
Then I curtsied to a media darling once, and styled her hair into the kind of Paris blonde I want to shape in me. She was the drive-test for a line of beauty products in my hopes, a brand devoted to the contours of the face. Because my dream is you, your face: the way you look into its pores, the way you brush yourself into the rank of It-Girl in your school, your neighborhood, or the man you keep at home who only sees the void after the nine-to-five.
Now as you know, I’ve had a few of them, men with locker-rooms as brains, men who only see the porn around my curves, until I met the one who breathes for revolutions in his songs, and found a home inside the madness in my brain. Sometimes I think we’re lost, dismembered in the flash of paparazzi cameras, and all the tales of wealth we’d show for everyone to talk about and sneer. Then he’d wrap his tongue inside my name, as though he’d feel the sun again in myths I lather on my hair.
But recently, he’d hum refrains, as though he’s somewhere else, as though he’d shaved my face already from the color of his notes. I miss his smell. He loves to wear Rabanne and Drakkar Noir. They filled my loneliness, longing for the breaths of God.
These days, there is a silence on the skies of Hidden Hills, as though, for once, I’m on a kind of pause, after the kids have gone to bed. Or maybe it’s my eyes, drenched with hearts you click on Instagram: Because you are the lullaby I want to see and hear, before I star the pages of my plans with things that make me feel like I’m born again.
M. Leland Oroquieta
Chinatown used to trim M. Leland Oroquieta's hair under careful, Guangzhou hands. There's a novel in the works, though he likes to tinker with short fiction as well. You can read those stories in venues drenched with coffee-stains, such as Ink Sweat & Tears, The Galway Review, Cricket Online Review, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Lunaris Review, Origins Journal, Zeroflash, and elsewhere. He lives on the edge of an ocean of cars chasing the Santa Ana winds.