Archive for October 16th, 2021

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Hair Treatment by Nia Mendy

Inspired by Grimms’ Snow White and Disney’s Princess and the Frog

For the first few months, Snow White tries
to finger comb. Prince Charming whines
as she straightens strands after each shower,
goading her with his drawer of scissors.
Yet he spends hours cutting and moussing,

his hair so slick that his hands convert to an oil spill.
He peeks at the mirror for enchantment, but it never
speaks and leaves him to consult Snow about his fairness.
Snow wants to reduce the glass to shards. When he calls
his bride’s hands future sledgehammers, she doesn’t flinch
and jerks his tresses till he begs. Sometimes Charming chases
her around the castle, shears buzzing alive in his fist.

Who understands the blink of fainting, how the forest
tapers to swimming green, then spins to black?

Easily Tiana, swooning as her mother weaved perm into her
strands, the chemicals cooking her hair straight. Snow still
remembers the princess’ whimper in the echoing bathroom,
Tiana’s incisors puncturing her own lip as if teething, the exposed

scalp. The mother listened for stops, no pleases. But the cries
never arose, fermented behind lips. At home in the castle bathroom,
Snow observes her own mouth even now. It didn’t choke on pleas,
but clenched while she lapsed under the poison’s appeal.

She and Tiana suffered under their first
crowns, their shoulders nursing tremors.
Snow waits for Charming’s first snip, to catch
his hands tangled in shears. He doesn’t
understand how everything becomes teeth.


Date: 2013

By: Nia Mendy (19??- )