In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Hot Comb
  • Natasha Trethewey (bio)

Halfway through an afternoon of coca cola bottles sweating rings on veneered tabletops and the steel drone of window fans above the silence in each darkened room, I open a stiff drawer and find the old hot combs, black with grease, the teeth still pungent as burning hair. One is small, fine toothed as if for a child. Holding it, I think of my mother’s slender wrist, the curve of her neck as she leaned over the stove, her eyes shut as she pulled the wooden handle and laid flat the wisps at her temples. The heat in our kitchen made her glow that morning I watched her wincing, the hot comb singeing her brow, sweat glistening above her lips, her face made strangely beautiful as only suffering can do.

Selected works by Natasha Trethewey:

  • Accounting

  • Beginning

  • Calling His Children Home

  • Closing Time

  • Deedywops

  • Delta Sharecroppers, 1930

  • Expectant

  • History Lesson

  • Hot Comb

  • The House Down the Street

  • Saturday Drive

  • Secular

  • The Four Corners

  • Laying the Waves

  • An Interview with Natasha Trethewey

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Calling His Children Home

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Closing Time

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Delta Sharecroppers, 1930

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History Lesson

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The House Down the Street

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Saturday Drive

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The Four Corners

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Laying the Waves

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An Interview with Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey, a member of the Dark Room Collective, is studying for the Ph.D. in English at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), where she received the M.F.A. in creative writing in 1995. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of periodicals, including The Massachusetts Review, Seattle Review, Agni, The Southern Review, African American Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Callaloo.


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p. 357
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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