Jed Myers

Maybe it was the walk we'd take
from where you'd park on Lancaster
Road, that block or so and around
the corner under the Rexall sign
onto City Line and a few doors more
to Mel's, his red white and blue
helical stripes writhing alive
in that fat tube out front, before
we'd even enter the shop's infinity
of mirrors, its mixed scents
of disinfectants and human sheddings;

that quiet stroll, or possibly also
the quick waggle and roll of the comb
and scissors in Mel's hands, cranky
lilt in the thick of his Polish shtetl
accent chatting with you as you'd stand
and check his work, as if it had to
be that good, and under the snips
my blinking back and forth between
our endless repetitions in the glass
and Mel's left forearm's blue numbers
half-escaping his white sleeve;

it might as easily have been you saying
nothing of where Mel had once lived
or what he'd seen, nothing before
our entry rang the bell over the door,
or while my hair fell on the pale sheet
cinched at my neck, or after
we'd left, getting back to the black
Buick, my scalp again feeling
the wind it had forgotten—maybe
all that was the frame, and what
you never would say was in it.

Jed Myers is author of Watching the Perseids (Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), The Marriage of Space and Time (MoonPath Press), and four chapbooks. His poems have won The Briar Cliff Review's Annual Poetry Contest, the Prime Number Magazine Award, The Southeast Review's Gearhart Prize, and The Tishman Review's Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize. Recent work appears in Rattle, Poetry Northwest, The American Journal of Poetry, On the Seawall, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Southern Poetry Review, Ruminate, and elsewhere. He lives in Seattle and edits poetry for Bracken.

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