Anthony’s Salon: two doors over from the A&P.
Greek bust on a pillar in the front window,
chiffon scarf circling its stony neck.
Every other Wednesday
I waited on a slippery chair,
writing and rewriting my spelling words,
looking up to see her reflection
four, five, a hundred times
in all the mirrors.

Everything was pointy then:
fingernails and fenders,
eyeglasses, breasts, and shoes.
Everything could be used as a weapon.

My hair would not behave.
Strands stuck out at odd angles.
She’d brush it from the roots down,
tearing through knots that defied her.
Sometimes she’d have Tony cut it all off
in a Pixie, just to be done with it.

Under the bonnet dryer,
she’d get a manicure, blood red,
cotton stuffed between her splayed fingers,
and when it was all over,
I’d follow her out,
trailing the burnt tips of her ears.

Published in Mas Tequila Review

Photo by Guilherme Petri on Unsplash