Hairstyles

after everyone
fell asleep
i lay in bed
planning how to
impress them
by wearing
hairstyles
of past civilizations.
first, i’d grow
and groom
my puny goatee
until it was
a pharaoh’s beard
jutting from my chin
like an upside down obelisk.
i’d command
the korean cashier
in the deli
to build me a pyramid
and he would say
five ninety-five puh-leeze.
next, i’d don the
tall, silvery wig of
an eighteenth century
aristocrat.
it’d be so high that
i’d look taller than
basketball stars
and people suffering
from gigantism.
at night, i’d take it
off and spoon with
it when lonesome.
i’d burrow in it
and its furriness would
have caught all the scents
of that particular day
like the smell of egg
benedicts, a woman’s shaved
legs, cherry blossoms.
sadly
a mugger would steal
my wig at gunpoint
so i’d grow a queue
like a manchu.
it’d be so long
that i could jump rope with it
and use it to tie up jerks.
i’d walk around town
in traditional chinese garb,
my queue swinging back
and forth like the pendulum
of a grandfather clock.
people wouldn’t
pick fights with me
and girls wouldn’t
dump me
because they were
scared i knew kung fu.
ah, hairstyles.
outside, the suburbs
were so quiet
as i stroked my hair,
plotting the future.