Copyright 2018

With All Due Respect

Jin Cordaro

When you make the first cut,
Be open, attuned, because each curl is asking
for its own direction, and who are we
to deny them independence?


Be gentle, because each strand shines slick
and brown, as you pull it even, but
glows red in the sun, like light through skin,
as the heart pumps joy and sorrow through its vessels.


And be loving, because although
this is an act of survival, an amputation
each strand is a longing I have built
layer upon layer, and all I have learned
has seeped from my body there.

Jin Cordaro received her MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her work has appeared in Faultline, A Smartish Pace, Sugar House Review, Cider Press Review, Gyroscope Review, Bacopa Literary Review, and Main Street Rag, among others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and recipient of the Editor's Prize from Apple Valley Review.