When he finishes your cut, he sprinkles talc onto a brush and sweeps your neck and ears of any stray clipped hairs. The drift from this dusting has clouded his hand mirror, a skim of pollen on a small pond.

He gives you the mirror and swivels the big chair so that you float in the quiet waters of his dingy shop. The light climbs down to you on dusty ropes.

He’s the last barber in town. The hair in his ears is gray and wiry. His scissors have thinned with sharpening, a flock of storks at the edge of the water.

Soon no one will drift here, drowning in the ordinary afternoon. Soon everyone will go around with the flowing, uncut hair of the dead.