Lynn Hoffman: from the barbershop, carmello

from the barbershop, carmello 
winter boots squeaking south 
on passyunk near broad 
sun-low, gold and cold. 

from the second chair, carmello 
a ring, a barber’s ‘howaya’ 
and something about shoveling 
the goddamn cold off the car’s bald spot 

from twenty-two years ago, carmello 
a crank and clank of metal slides 
sees the well-reflected light that never dims 
or moves across a gray and grainy sky 

from his belly, carmello 
the itch where scar knuckles skin 
he stands then sits then stands again 
because today, he can 

from his breath, carmello 
a prayer. to the daily news he says 
st. quotidiano, pray for me 
so little here, so much to lose.

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