Elizabeth Alexander

(May 30, 1962 / Westfield, New Jersey)

Haircut

I get off the IRT in front of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture after riding an early
Amtrak from Philly to get a hair cut at what used to be the Harlem "Y" barbershop. It gets me in at ten to
ten. Waiting, I eat fish cakes at the Pam Pam and listen to the ladies call out orders: bacon-biscuit twice,
scrambled scrambled fried, over easy, grits, country sausage on the side. Hugh is late. He shampoos me,
says "I can't remember, Girlfriend, are you tender-hea

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