Scene From a Beauty Salon with Borrowed Lines by Twila Newey

Scene From a Beauty Salon with Borrowed Lines

He hums the song:  

 The woman says,Now do you use conditioner, honey?”

The boy does not answer, but lays his head back in the flow of warm water concentrating on the small touch of sun.

Next to him a girl wants her natural waves blown out, ironed straight.

There is no magic x-ray that will tell her when some small capsule breaks.

 “You know what I mean, lima bean.”  Says the woman.

The boy thinks, “so this is how women talk when they have a razor to the back of your neck.”  His hair falling to the ground like spongy moss.  He pauses to unstop the jar…pour liquid oxygen into the cup of his thoughts.

“I feel like we only ordered one,” the woman says.  She looks at the girl.

 The girl says nothing.

The girl cannot see the piles of her own hair wound soft, almost white, at her feet.  She reads Lord Byron backward, reflected in the mirror abundance of life.  The girl thinks each of these words in a Scottish brogue. 

The cup falls.  He catches the cup.  The woman says “Good catch well done.”

The girl does not turn.

He sees the soft curls of her hair on the floor and thinks, if we were on dry land we could walk away. While his mother and the woman call him beautiful boy.

While the girl loses the curl of herself one slice at a time.

Two suspicious creatures in so close if they extended their arms straight,
as if they were wings, their fingertips would touch.

The girl sits very still. 

The women says, “He is stunning.”  As the razor hums in her hand. 

The girl wonders if explosion [is] reasonably permissible?


Twila Newey received her M.F.A in Creative Writing from Naropa University. Her poetry has appeared in Rust + Moth, Poetry Breakfast, and is forthcoming at Summerset Review and Two Cities Review. She has also completed her first novel, a portion of which won publication in Exponent II Midrash Contest. She lives in Evergreen, Colorado.