George, The Barber

Heaven is a barber shop
on the bad side of a Greensboro, North Carolina
backstreet.
I’ve checked in at the front, my friend.
Hair doubled with split ends.
This morning I rode the bus
from stop to stop
to meet with my man.
Now I don’t have the time
to sit about and wait.
So I call the barber back my way.
We sit past closing sometimes
and he explains the Bible to me.
Then I walk home alone
and stay up all night.
He can’t explain that to me.
Now I can’t sit around and wait.

Especially when I sweat with
nightmares
and thrust myself from sleep
some mornings.
My head is alive with thoughts
and my stomach churning
with desires from the corn liquor.
But I pull myself from bed
and to work on West Market St.
My body aches like the pavement,
a crack on every edge.
Now don’t expect me to sit and wait
for my chair to be free.

With each passing day
we draw one closer to dying, George.
It’s unfair, because living is
just so hard.
We can only try our hand at living
but know that we’ll be defeated one day.
Who knows when?
George, I can’t find
anything beautiful about life,
and I need you to help me understand.

Heaven is a barber shop
on the bad side of a Greensboro, North Carolina
backstreet.
I’ve checked in at the front, my friend.

George, The Barber

Jascie Epinn

Joined January 2009

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