Synaesthesia Magazine Americana - Page 48

Crew o semicrew?

the bald Sicilian barber asked

with a stern regard

that warned the high school toughs

with Elvis pompadours

and duck’s ass backs

they’d best go elsewhere.

I no hurt you kid, he promised,

drawing the sheet around my neck

like a hangman’s noose

and stropping the razor

with the practiced motion

of an executioner.

You scared, you gonna cry?

he asked derisively

and spat into the sink.

I lay back in the chair

and clenched my eyes.

I felt the warm scented lather

coat my sideburns,

winced as he pinched my nose

and pushed my head back,

shuddered as the cold steel

scraped my skin.

Unpinning the sheet,

he shook the hair out,

flourishing it at a freckled boy

like a toreador

taunting a great horned beast.

Next, he cried.

Crew o semicrew?

Art Heifetz