A movie-star blond, he thinks every time she comes in for a cut.
Natural, hanging straight to mid-back, a golden rainfall.

Six inches of rain a year, he guesses. He’s known every thread,
every inch as intimately as his own, since she was a little girl.

I want you to shave my head, she says without emotion.
Her second round of chemo begins tomorrow morning.

He remembers being stunned by her bare ovoid skull, symmetry
framing eyes, nose and mouth, forehead’s graceful, rising curve.

How can he tell her she looks beautiful, so she believes him.
He’ll shave her head, gratis, until this is over, he promises.

She smiles wanly at the offer. I’ll leave my head a blank,
she says, no wig, no scarf, no matter what friends want.

Her naked, glistening scalp is, after all, a garden, she tells him.
With luck, at 22, it’ll have many more seasons to bloom.