Lice In My Head

by Rohee Shah

‘Window Dressing’ by Marisa S White

‘To be born woman is to know—
Although they do not talk of it at school—
That we must labour to be beautiful.’
William Butler Yeats

I got 75% in school
My glass is neither
half-empty, nor full

What does it take for me
to be beautiful?

Tiny little beings
live in my head
they have found
their home, 
a happy place

they eat my scalp 
when hungry,
drink the sweat and 
oil off my hair

they excrete at 
particular spaces where 
it’s clean and safe
for them

they move around, 
play, quarrel and fight 
during the day

At night, they must 
be asleep for there is
very little movement 

The constant itching 
and scraping
makes very little 
sanity remain

Life has never been easy for me
I am almost there yet 
I am never really there.

Rohee Shah is a poet, writer, and an educator based out of Ahmedabad, India. She runs an NGO called Tide Foundation. Like any other writer, she strongly believes in the magic that words carry in them. Writing has been her source of love, magic, friendship and support. Most of her pieces are a way to figure out what is going on in her world; they help her make sense of her pain, her joys, her sorrows, and her life.

Marisa S White is best known for seamlessly stitching multiple photographs together, weaving her own personal narrative through surrealistic and fantastical imagery. Having grown up in Houston, Texas with The Menil Collection and the MFAH in her backyard, Marisa was heavily influenced by the Surrealists. Initially a mixed media collage artist, she received her BFA at the University of North Texas. Marisa has received numerous accolades for her art, has exhibited across the US and in Europe, and is collected internationally. Her work was recently featured at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband of 10+ years, whom she fondly refers to as Captain Awesome, and their two fur babies.