Lynn Hoffman: from the barbershop, carmello

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

from the second chair, carmello 
hears 
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 
hears 
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 
feels 
the itch where scar knuckles skin 
he stands then sits then stands again 
because today, he can 

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


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