Poetry Daily: Haircut


I sit on the dock for a haircut and watch

as summer spreads out, relieving the general,

indiscriminate gray, like a mouthful of gin

spreading out through the capillaries

of my brain, etherizing everything

it is too painful to think or say,

as I dangle my feet in the water,

like bits of a man. On the goldenrod,

Japanese beetles are holding an orgy.

The green snake throws off its enameled skin.

And somewhere — invisible as the avenues

of the dead — a little door is left open for love,

pushing and pulling at each of us, as the water

pushes and pulls at my young gray hairs.



I think there are alot of mingling life and death images in here that somehow carry this poem afloat. The poem seems to twist at leaving the “little door” open for love, as the poem doesn’t even need to state that, and it could have sunk, and maybe it did for you, but I think that the image of the summer sun over the water takes care of it for me. The poem sort of starts out as a reminder that we’re all alone and as tiny and broken as this man on the dock, but then life continues on, and your hair keeps growing, and this man has let some love reach him through the act of handing over the scissors to a friend. I like how the poem both ends and starts on the dock, yet has narrowed down from just a man on the dock, to “young gray hairs.”

Comments are closed.