It was so quiet she could hear her hair grow,
heartbeat stretch across measures, nails twist
into mobius strips. She unlatched the window
so the hair had somewhere to go, tumbling
and snarling like water released in spring.

He came every day – until he stopped.
The patch of grass yellowed where he stood
in boots and shining coat, watching her locks.

So she stepped out of the window, following
the hair – dove like a clumsy swan, hands
outstretched to protect the melon of her head,
bird bones of her chest –  hair pooling like a net
as she slips to the ground, folds into its nest.


NJ Hynes‘ pamphlet Tracking Light, Stacking Time (2023) was published by Live Canon and featured in the Washington Post. Her poems have appeared in Long Poem magazine, Magma, Mslexia, The Rialto; she’s held residencies in train stations and the Atacama desert. njhynes.net