Poem for Christopher Salas, 1964-1997(?)
From the dream world I crossed
into yours to get a haircut,
but it wasn’t that simple.
The first time I saw you was after
I had argued with the barber about
the length of my sideburns
and if such luxuries were permitted in hell.
Then you caught my eye: there you were,
sweeping cut hair of all sorts
into a black plastic dust-bin
with a handsome straw broom;
Your legs were reduced to stumps
and there was a small bump in the floor
where the hair was burnt to ash.
Otherwise, you were young and alive,
wearing a pale-blue sweater vest,
your hair neat as the barber’s son--
I was embarrassed to see you there
seemingly happy in your task
while I had nothing else to do but
leave, hoping to sweat in the cool
fall air of my real world, later,
when the sun cleared the trees.
Robert Creeley Handouts UNM 1962
3 weeks ago