Red, white and blue swirling barber pole out front,
my barber shop is classic, both old fashioned and
cutting-edge, with few scissors but many clippers,
straight razors, trimmers, edgers, fine or wide
combs, but no sink, no shampoo, no cream rinse.
Enter, and the place is throbbing with testosterone,
pulsing with vibrating yang, no soft humming yin
whatsoever, darkly masculine, not sunny feminine.
I am the only female in the place, and I can feel
how very few women have ever sat in this chair.
Your back is to the mirror here: like the barber,
I glance at silent TV football while boy-music plays
loud and unclear, so when the barber speaks to me,
maybe asking about my weekend, I just nod or grunt,
which seems to work, in our minimal conversation.
He names current bands, and I say I really dig Elvis.
It’s okay, though, since we cannot hear each other.
A foreign language is spoken by the young men in the
other three chairs and the buzzing barbers behind:
very very fast, with topsy-turvy adjectives, like
sick meaning cool or really good, modern male lingo.
I think they are trying to tone it down for me, not
dropping their usual load of pinup-girl boy-slang.
It’s okay, though: I can’t hear what they’re saying.
The dudes leave, sporting slick-backs, fades, bursts,
tight tapers, man buns, undercuts, line-ups,
french crops, bro flows, quiffs and pompadours.
When he spins me around to face the mirror, I see
John has actually heard me: he’s given me exactly
what I requested: fountain spilling neatly over
from top to sides and edgy curves curves curves.
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