KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Poem: 151 words

The Barber

by John L. Stanizzi

The shop is wedged
between two whitewashed glass store fronts
in a mall that did not survive.
Nobody comes here— 
hollow buildings
and the barber shop lodged in.
The barber sits all day in the fat chair,
reads porn,
and smokes Luckies.
In the parking lot
the yellow lines have faded
and the storm has swallowed the barber’s car.

When I was a child
my father would bring me here.
He and the barber would laugh and drink,
and I would sit in the chair,
a mirror in front, a mirror in back,
and count the reflections of my self.

Years later I bring my son to the barber shop.
The barber is old, happy, 
makes me a drink,
sips his.
My son sits in the chair between the mirrors,
says it’s like watching the barber go far away,
getting smaller and smaller
as he goes.


—From the author’s book Sundowning (now available for publication)


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