she handled hair like it was a new thing to feel it,
snipping away at my shag and telling these stories
-- a knife fight with rogue diamond traders--
like it was supposed to give me an erection.
it might have.
I don’t think she meant to blow in my ear,
or if the way she described electric fences
was supposed to sound
so. . . sexual.
Everything else was tasteful; her dress,
her banter when I made the appointment.
She didn’t stroke my ears when smoothing the sides,
didn’t rub her breasts against my neck, even accidentally,
when cutting those awkward-to-reach bits.
maybe her stories were too intense to be bothered
—a stab wound dowry,
three-bucks an hour at the local porn theater
til that day she found a voucher for a week of free beauty school—
or maybe I just imagined it to quell my fear
of women with sharp things.
In the barbershop mirror, her scissors circled my face like sharks
and every bit of hair that fell seemed to splat on the clean
linoleum floor. the snipping of blades was the sound of machinery
and my legs were jelly.
when I left she gave a professional smirk and I’m sure
I saw her blow the hair out of her face.