Quarantine Haircut


I’ve had hundreds of haircuts over the years

but never one as intimate as the one Julie

gave me yesterday, mid-quarantine, and my

hair standing up and out of control and when

she could take it no more she said sit down,

Bozo. I happily complied, always eager for

her touch. She stood over me cutting, clipping,

and buzzing and I could feel her legs on mine,

her forearm brushing my ears. But it wasn’t

the physical touch as much as the proximity,

breathing the same air like we used to do back

when the sight of each other would result in

clothes flying through the air, naked bodies

moving together in rhythm, but this was a haircut,

scissors, a misused beard trimmer, a memory of

what was once there. When she asked why I was

crying, I said Some hair must have irritated my eyes,

and she didn’t press, only wiped it away, said

you’re a fool and she was right once again.

  —Steve Cushman

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