I waited my turn at the Serendipity Salon
in Teaneck, New Jersey,
for Michel, the French Canadian
to style my hair.
He charmed me, chatting feverishly
in his lovely French accent,
as he performed magic with his scissors.
I emerged feeling just like Jackie Kennedy.
He went south to seek his fortune
and there were always Michel stories
buzzing around the crowded salon.
He drove a Mercedes,
lived in an oceanfront condo
in Boca Raton ,
and he was supposedly kept
by a wealthy Palm Beach man.
Until, one day, a patron announced
Michel had died from AIDS.
the stylists held their dryers
and combs in mid-air,
a woman interrupted
her sip of coffee,
someone turned down the volume
on the radio,
and there was a moment of silence
at the Serendipity Salon in Teaneck.
Previously published in Chiron Review and in Why I Miss New Jersey