The salon is quirky—
an indoor swing, a stuffed unicorn—
silver and pink everywhere.
My stylist meets me at the door
tearful and subdued,
as though about to prep
a beloved aunt for burial.
She throws the black curtain
over my body, snaps it at the neck,
and after discussion
sets the razor to ¼ inch.
Magnolia blossoms of hair pelt down
on the wrap, the floor, our feet,
and I am nearly bald.
Not three minutes have passed.
I tug my new, white pixie wig
for public wear over the stubble.
It’s scratchy and tight and looks
so much better than my real, pre-shave hair
that she gasps at the little moon
that will hug my face all day—
pharmacy, car, grocery store.
I get so many compliments
on my snowy look.
And I think, when this damn cancer
is gone and my battered body
can travel again, I’m going to Rome,
to London, Cornwall, Berlin,
my own, less attractive hair
framing my newly-happy face.