a polychromatic shade of longing


It quickly became familiar,

the permeating, 

sometimes saccharine scent 

of color in a bottle.


Stains on my skin became a regularity, 

splatters on the floors, 

dye-ruined towels and sweaters. 


I remember being nervous,

itching for excitement, 

crawling with anxieties.


But every time, 

when it felt like a new person

staring back at me in the mirror, 

I was satiated,



Yet every time, it took less time

for the novelty to wear off.

For me to be bored,




When a bottle 

or box of dye

was no longer enough,

the snip of scissors

through locks of hair

seemed to quell my desperation.


Until my hair was shorter than ever,

different from what I’d ever imagined.

Still not enough. 


The needle and the ink

found me longing. 

Each poke promised to 

fill an empty spot

deep within me. 

A place I wasn’t even aware needed to be filled. 


But yet again,

I bounced back,

ready for more. 

Ready for something new, 

to fill me in a way it never should have been expected to.


So more bundles of hair in the trash can. 

More stains and splatters,

more money spent on hair dye. 

More needles and ink,

more doodles that are supposed to 



More piercings that I’ll be scared of.

More eyeshadow painted across my face. 


More of anything to make me feel new again,

whole again. 


But the aching longing always comes back. 

Because tattoos and hair dye and piercings

can’t do anything real

to make me feel less empty.