The natural

More peace than politics, forgo the heat 

and hostile alkali for what curls itself out of me


dense as the hardwood, as the closed and tense 

fist, or better, a lung, so full of air it’s floating.


How keratin could become cathedral bell, 

a reason to gather untangling fingers to 


mine a new and harder self out of follicle’s 

offerings. There is so much space inside the word


“hair,” that proceeds with breath and leaves 

a rounded, open mouth. How my hair, when free


holds atmosphere inside of it. Less trap than

trove, in case my breath is forgotten or worse,



Chimwemwe Undi is a poet currently living in Toronto. Her work has been on the stages of the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and on pages of Prairie Fire, Room and other generous publications.