corner pritchard
has a salon not wider
than the backroom of a house
in mzimhlophe

man selling imvunulo yesizulu
sits at the door
weaving coloured beads
onto white tommy tekkies,
earrings, necklaces, belts nezicholo
spread on a table

the guy who helped park my car
is washing another car
with water from a 750 ml bottle
of liquid sunlight

barber makes room
for talkative drunk man—
shifts damp towels,
hair brushes, blow–dryers,
combs, from a chair
opposite the nail bar

i’m on a crate
before a mirror with a view
of people rushing, chatting,
shopping, getting directions
smoking, busy on their phones

my hairdresser, his name is pat,
pulls a needle from a pocket
sections my hair into little blocks
grabs one section at a time

knits every strand
in–and–out, in–and–out
till it is dreadlocked
then moves on to the next block
then the next one
then the next