I started college as a Creative Writing major; this is from a workshop in my sophomore year, 1992. It’s not exactly one of my favorites – some lines are spot on though – but I chose it because it’s very TBTish.
Beauty Parlor was best. Pink curlers next
to powders, creams, polishes borrowed from
our mothers and carted up attic steps
weeks before. Bright blue eye shadow and coral blush
applied with small brushes. Cutting hair was our future;
teasing styles, chatting our way to marriage.
Pant suits hung from rafters unfilled, musty
out of date clothes to pretend in. Modeling, I did the runway
walk following a floorboard down the room.
Our upstairs salon had clothes and makeup
to match. We sang with Neil Diamond records,
his voice scratchy with vinyl wear,
our voices skipping and rising off-key.
You taught me how to dance; we waltzed, tripping
on shoes years to large for our nine year old
feet. The attic turned into a disco at dusk,
we watched Solid Gold, knew all the moves.
Hot and tired, we descended to wash off
the attic grime, gaudy cosmetics, and the waking dreams
of Saturday. Those nights you leaned over
the top bunk so we could talk about boys
at school and how wearing makeup in public would feel.
I still look for you through the plate glass windows
of hair salons, rolling curls and sweeping stray
ends with a push broom, half hoping one of us
followed the attic dreams we had.