This guy, Midas by Kate Garrett

This guy, Midas

pays two hundred quid
for his haircuts –
regular, often,
I could draw out
a calendar by each one –
but the real value lies
in the secrets he wants me
to keep.

He sets up businesses.
For example: one sells football
shirts for handbag-sized dogs,
one offers extendable
squeegees. No one can say
how he does it.

And I know all about his little
“problem”. He talks
too much, when he says
he likes the feeling
of my fingers
massaging his scalp,
my smooth palms
brushing his ears,
and relaxes back into a loose tongue.

Maybe I’ve never told
a living soul outright,
but some don’t know
I’m a hairdresser.
Some people
only know me from that grimy
hole in the wall, the one
with the dim-lit bar downstairs,
where I sometimes sing Midas’s song,

tell truths disguised as cautionary ballads
about the corruption of men,
my saxophonist blowing
a tune across his reed,
while the slit
in my skirt and the curve
of my lashes
keeps them drinking.

 

 

Kate Garrett writes poetry and flash fiction, and edits other people’s poetry and flash fiction. She has three little books to her name – Minor Things (2014), Bewitched (Kindle edition, Pankhearst 2014) and The names of things unseen (one of six collections in Caboodle, Prolebooks 2015) – and two more forthcoming in paperback – Bewitched and Other Stories (Pankhearst, August 2015) and Decked in Jackstays (Pankhearst, late 2015/early 2016). She is a 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, and edits the webzine three drops from a cauldron and the Slim Volume anthology series. She lives and writes in Sheffield with three trolls, a cat & a man-poet, and would not-so-secretly rather be a pirate.

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