When I go to the sento, I wrap my hair in a scarf.
May 2018.
Audio and text in English and Japanese.

When I go to the sento I wrap my hair in a scarf.
When I shower,
go out in the rain,
the sauna.
I keep my head above water when I swim.
I never jump in.
I wash my hair once a week,
when I am alone, I dry it.
Pull out the curls.

When I go to the sento, I remove my clothes but I keep my disguise.
I disguise myself as myself,
as who I think I am
as who I think I should be
as who I want to be
as who I think you want me to be.
I feel like I ought to feel guilty, and isn’t that the same thing.
You can see our similarities,
there is no difference to scare you into politeness.

If I play this part, I get to choose.
To be able to choose, to pretend I can.
To have a voice, even though I can’t get to the microphone.
I am disguised as myself.

We were two and someone’s mother
Karla said, my skin has never been so soft.
I realised my woman’s body hadn’t been seen
by someone who wasn’t taking it.

Someone’s mother scrubbed me with soap
and I remembered how I miss my Nanny Phil.
She called her stomach her pillow
and it was for other people to lie on.

Alone, but still on view
through my eyes they say,
that’s not how a body should look.
Here I think we own our own ourselves.
I’m not sure how to take mine back.

Audio coming soon.

Bergen, Norway// London, UK