My Boyfriend’s Ex-Girlfriend Gives Me A Haircut

My Boyfriend’s Ex-Girlfriend Gives Me A Haircut

By: Cultura Colectiva -

Robin Myers is a young poet and translator from New York, currently living in Mexico City. For her, writing a poem is like an itch that comes "sometimes like a line, sometimes an image, sometimes just a nebulous question or concern or juxtaposition". If we can learn something from Myers' work, it's the fact that poetry can help us understand life itself. In the poem "My Boyfriend’s Ex-Girlfriend Gives Me a Haircut in Bethlehem", Myers transforms a simple picture into something almost nightmarish and surreal.

My Boyfriend’s Ex-Girlfriend Gives Me A Haircut 1


He had loved her once

and for a long time.

She takes my hair into her fist.

The ceiling arches overhead

like a gutted whale’s ribs.

I sit in a chair on the landing.

She says it won’t hurt a bit.

When I shift, her tipsy hand

corrects me at the temple.

It’s dark. He waits inside

as if following the light’s

example. I remember where I am

incessantly. Down the street

is the night bakery, the corner store

with its shelves of Raid and eggs,

the cave where Jesus choked

his first gasps of mossy air.

The scissors tug at my hair

and slice it just below

my shoulders. There, there,

she says. Her own is shaved

to the skin. I don’t yet know

how to count in her language.

I will learn and then forget.

Good, she announces with

a briskness almost tender.

Much better. The gas truck

sings its mournful tune.

It starts to rain. She lights

another cigarette. Inside,

he touches my forehead,

smiling, and seems surprised,

the mirror of his face concealing

whether I am changed, or look

exactly the same.


Published in the journal Enizagam (2016), in Amalgama / Conflations (Ediciones Antílope, Mexico), and in Lo demás / Else (Kriller71 Ediciones, Spain; Zindo & Gafuri, Argentina).


Photos by @Deanastacia.