Asymmetry by K-Ming Chang

This, by K-Ming Chang, in The Jellyfish Review.

Jellyfish Review


I cut my mother’s hair every month since her hands went wild. They’re rabid, boomeranging around the room, returning every touch twice as hard, slapping her face when she’s asleep, ambushing mosquitoes, crawling under the sofa like rodents. I cut her hair shorter in the front than in the back. She likes asymmetry, the unevenness of things. She claims that’s why she fell in love with my father. He had one eye that was double-lidded and one that was single-lidded, one smaller than the other, which my mother called long-feng yan. Dragon-phoenix eyes. A sign of good luck. Eyes like coins, like currency, spending themselves empty. Every month, I spray my mother’s hair from the roots to the tips, trace the cowlick on her scalp, trim away the bleached-brittle ends. Unlike her, I prefer symmetry. I cut my own hair in a bob so abrupt that my friends call me…

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