Traci Brimhall
A Different Pair of Genes

I want to be blond—
honey, dirty, strawberry,
any shade they make it in,
but preferably platinum,
that cheap, bleached,
Barbie hair that doesn't look real
and isn't supposed to.

I want to drop my turtlenecks
and slacks in a cardboard box
in front of Salvation Army,
ring the bell and run,
dye my Norma Jean roots,
start to wear stiletto heels
and spaghetti straps
that slip from my shoulders
and lay limp and casually
reckless on my arm.

I want to walk into bars
in a dress with no mysteries
as all the men turn
on their stools and stare
down my part
guessing: brunette, redhead, or
the real deal,
jamming their hands
in their pockets to keep
from stroking the curls
swishing across my bare back,
wondering: what would it look like
splayed on their pillows?

I want to rent a vintage convertible
and cruise,
yeah cruise,
lowering my cat-eye shades
to return whistles
with a coquette's wink,
the wind's fingers yanking
at each pale strand's
dark follicle as I press the pedal
harder, laughing and passing
all the other cars
on a double yellow.