Foreigner’s Haircut

Placed on the garden path’s uneven stones
the bamboo stool tips slightly to one side.
Close to my ear, I hear the squeaking tones
of scissor blades. Sometimes I catch the eyes
of several young boys seated at my feet
who stare in blank amazement, unabashed.
They know already that I sleep, and eat—
but here is evidence far more concrete,
more intimately human.
Shorn, unmasked,
I shower, check the mirror, step outside
to hang my towel in the sun. The last
few fallen locks of my own hair blow by—
re-animated by a passing breeze,
mixed with mimosa and hibiscus leaves.

Petulu, Bali—1997

About the author

R. Nemo Hill lives in New York City, but travels extensively in Southeast Asia each year, where his experiences have run the gamut from…

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Issue 03 · February 2009

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