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The Barber Chair

At the neck nape, hair clippers coo, susurrations as they spill hair. Tingle trickles down to toes. Brush massages loose hairs from scalp, and every atom rocks into a tide. Daydream drifts, eyes flickering like the box television playing Friday on BET. Static-rippled loll, barber-cupped chin. Fingers center the forehead. Across the hairline, he charts a path, squatting, lips aligning for a moment. He takes a call from his wife. He teases through receiver. He hangs up, unsheathes razor blade. Edge cruising skin, he cuts in on veteran's story of women in Vietnam who bathed men with their bodies. Curiosity erect, all men listen, every clipper holding its tongue. Ears warm, head cold and unfinished. Blade clean, remains so until the vet leaves, stories wet in every mouth, Playboy play-by-play savored like the vet savors his past fuck. Blade gripped, the barber leans

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