Adriana Cloud’s “Instructions for Trimming Your Roommate’s Bangs”



Maybe it’s August or maybe the birds
are still learning to see green.
Starlings and wrens, each bone a secret.
Do it in the kitchen with the dishwasher running
and bees zapping their wings against the screen.
The only way to describe something
is to say what it reminds you of.
The sky is the color of her eyes after crying.
Go slowly, right to left, the scissors with the red handles.
Her lips taste like rain like salt like
bruised pears sliced with the sharpest knife.
Let the ends fall on her hot skin.
Like twilight, like cotton straps.
What was the first thing that was only like itself?