other people's poems, poetry

A White Man Cuts My Hair

he holds my head
as if it’s strange fruit
as if he’s not quite sure
how to approach it
the instructor beside him
tells him
go against the grain of the hair
and cut in sections
i just close my eyes and dream
the first time a white man cut my hair
i was in boston
on my way to portland,  maine

he starts out slowly
and then his nervousness
turns to swag
i pucker my lips
when he begins to shape up
my goatee
like i’m mad
but i’m not, really
you can’t complain about
something when it’s free

he thanks me constantly
for giving me the opportunity
to learn his trade

old school hip hop
comes on the radio
naughty by nature
he tells me how much he
liked onyx
a band from the early ’90’s
and i could care less that
whites buy more hip hop than blacks
or that they outnumber us at concerts
since i don’t buy rap anymore

we talk about talk shows
and agree a guy has to be pretty dense
to sleep with a woman for a year
and then find out the she’s a he

when i lived in ohio
my ex, maureen, always shaved my head
before a shower together
i sometimes imagine
what life would’ve been like
if i had married her

these days it’s easier to trust god
than to trust people
but i let the guy finish
he did a good job
but it’s hard to screw up
a bald head

i read somewhere
fidel castro’s barber once told
fidel he was fourtunate
to put a razor to his face

the barber dissapeared
and was never heard from


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