12: Hair on Fire

December 11, 2018 · 5:00
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Hair on Fire
by Jim Daniels

We ironed fall leaves
                between wax-paper sheets.
We melted crayons into candles
                and froze Kool-Aid into popsicles.
We poked cloves into oranges. We grew roots
                on sweet potatoes tooth-picked in water.
We taped our broken glasses together
                and shut up. We made shoe-box
dioramas with Play-Doh and modeling clay.
                We cut snowflakes from folded paper
and hung them with kite string.
                We made newspaper kites
and imagined they could fly.

We shaped tin foil into fake coins
                for our church envelopes.
We covered love bites with Kool-Aid.
                We filled liquor bottles with holy water.
We hid our stash in beanbag chairs.
                We drove to Ohio for drugs
and rolled back our father’s odometer.
                We mounted our girlfriends
on basement pool tables, clacking balls together
                for ears upstairs.
We drew lies with chalk
                and the truth with tar.
We lit our hair on fire
                to cover the smell.


“Hair on Fire” from “Street Calligraphy” by Jim Daniels. Copyright © 2017 Steel Toe Books.