The New Shampooer

combs the women's shining hair
with giant fingers; he is tender, mesmerized
as any first-time lover.

He moves his bear-bulk
between the tiny sinks, all the while
humming, hoping to please.

He does not realize
how he blesses the wet-haired women,
whose temples have lain untouched
for so very long.

photograph by Kirsten Kapur


The Alchemist

rehearses picking the runes--
E; B; F sharp--in
sorcerous order. He coughs
in the room.
He dials the number.
The world rolls like a wave.

In a valley of lead skyscrapers
her telephone rings.
With winter-heavy hands
she lifts it to a cold ear.
He takes a breath--

Her skin goes pink.
Her sky goes gold.

photograph by the incredible Alison Scarpulla


Eve After Eden

I am not woman;
I am a pile of ashes. Like soft little shingles:
snug where the overlap is. But shingles of ashes,
and even the best cinder brace
dimples, chinks, and collapses
in the cold wind of your face.

photograph by Gideon Ansell

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