Durag | Cymelle Edwards

1 min read

for Derick

Sometimes we’re reminded where we’re from
like the Gila Monster trapped in its cage
at the Museum of Natural History
that everyone else thought
was a snake

I didn’t correct them

maybe that’s what snakes look like where they’re from
and what is a snake if not familiar,

it’s the durag squeezing my head so tight
washing silhouettes behind my eyelids,
perhaps I want some science to say

you’re doing everything right, and

the snake wrapped ‘round your head
is indeed a snake,

satin coiled in one too many loops
to keep my hair,

like the girl with the ribbon around her neck
that kept her head attached,

where would little Black girls be without
their snakes

Cymelle Leah Edwards (she/her) is a Pushcart nominee from Casa Grande, AZ and the author of Coordinates [chapbook]. Her poems can be found in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ghost City Press, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Northern Arizona University and serves as current nonfiction editor of Kelp Journal and board member for the Northern Arizona Book Festival. She currently works in media production in Indianapolis.