Abyss & Apex : Fourth Quarter 2005

The Wizard Gets a Haircut

by Jon Hansen

 

So what did you have in mind today?
She met his eyes in the mirror,
one oak brown and one ice blue,
as she tied the vinyl sheet around his neck
Behind her another girl swept up blond curls

He swung a hand out and up, tan and weathered with
a burn mark on the thumb,
to gesture around the mass of locks:

Trim this back as far as you can
A finger hovered over a white patch in the gray tangles
like the moon among thunderclouds
I made the mistake of raising the shade of Francis Bacon
to ask his opinion on a question of alchemy
and now he won’t leave me alone

The finger moved to four braids
hanging from his right temple
The time has passed for these
he tapped the stones weighing down three:
jade,
onyx,
and moonstone
clip them at the root, but do each
in one cut
don’t worry about any blood
save the braids and burn them
tonight
one by one
in a fire of ashwood
keep the stones if you like
This last braid,
gold and diamond,
don’t touch
it’s holding my ex-wife’s soul.

Finally the finger moved up to the crown
circling
where pink scalp began to show
Here’s where my homunculous dwells
if you see its face looking at you
up through the skin,
don’t stare back
And don’t let your hands linger
he’ll think it’s feeding time.

Otherwise, just trim the split ends
and even things up
Oh, and no gel.

__________

Jon Hansen’s work has appeared in such places as Strange Horizons, Black Gate, Weird Tales, and most recently Lenox Avenue. His day job is that of librarian at Kennesaw State University, and his chief amusement when not writing is watching his cats eye the birdfeeder. For more information, consult his website at http://www.logicalcreativity.com/jon





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