Scoundrel Time

Cut your hair tomorrow.

-Lake Orion, MI 2020

My mind tossed all night like
ragweeds caught
in a storm,
thinking of these words

Cut your hair tomorrow

what my mother      said
to me    after     watching
a video       where       yet
another   innocent
black man was killed.

This one going for a jog.
This one 23,701 days    since
Emmett Till.
This one Ahmaud Arbery.

I lay in bed,     picking at   the
threads    that keep     me
together,    looking  for
what’s inside.

Will I find the shades of my

own strength?

Cut your hair tomorrow

her fear
that my long,      curly,
Afro-Taino     hair will  be

but a black bulls-eye.

Cut your hair tomorrow

the words
I still heard      as
I watched the     video,   as
he ran away,

Shot three times—

The bullets,

an ellipsis      omitting
him       from this




Sebastian Santiago is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, but grew up just outside of Detroit, MI. He attained his English degree from Central Michigan University where the focus of his studies was creative writing with a concentration in poetry. Sebastian was recently living in Prague teaching English, but has since moved back to the US where his focus is on attaining his MFA in creative writing. He has work featured, or forthcoming, in The Emerson Review, Poetry South, Up North Lit, BMP Voices and Rigorous among others



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