Monday, March 2, 2020


the barber shop

it is my first haircut
in sixteen months
so there is already palpable tension
between the barber and i
when he walks in
fat, white and old
well-fed on capitalism
he’s wearing those reflector shades
that make him look like
that jerk-off southwestern sheriff
who’s a racist
apparently, i’m with his barber
he points to the other guy
sitting there playing on his phone
and says, can he do as bad a job as you?
the old man laughs
but no one else thinks he’s funny
he plops himself down
in the barber seat
like it’s his own lounger
let’s out a sigh that sounds like a fart
repeats the joke
about the bad haircut
until he gets a grin out of my guy
then my barber talks to the other barber in arabic
explaining what kind of haircut
the old man wants
and when the other barber goes to work
the old man says
could be worse
i could be the president
and his hair
imagine taking scissors to that!
then he laughs again
alone and to himself
as if the rest of stay silent
letting the radio
fill the void
of all the things

--John Grochalski


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