Haircut with Beard Trimmer
‘And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair…’
— Walt Whitman
Of halves, I do not do things by,
so this windowless bathroom becomes
a comfortingly masculine-smelling salon:
towels rolled, toilet rolls stowed,
a starling-blue towel draped over
the radiator, warmly, to sculpt
around your neck. You reverse cowboy
the toilet seat and I set to work.
An untrained Brutalist, gently hacking
unsubtle gaps in a well-inked neck
where blue veins, like curious dolphins,
threaten to approach the surface.
I am the assistant playing games
as the tired master eats some lunch.
And yet, to hold a head heavy with
duty, fingers lacing curls like a promise…
The fuzzy loops of you fall to the tiles
like duck tears, or rain against a window,
muted, as all things are, in those
first few bright moments of wakening.
MÍCHEÁL MCCAN is from Derry. His poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, Ambit, and Banshee Lit, and a pamphlet of poems, Safe Home, was published in 2020 by Green Bottle Press.