"This poem takes place (at least partly) in the barbershop where the men make and partake in the “[q]uiet love of men.” And meticulous as the barber, the poet shapes language into sharp, exact sentences that demonstrate how swagger and effort (Work!) sometimes belong to each other. The diction makes it clear that this is a poem of tenderness, and joy, where “a small boy spins” and a cape billows “like a gown.” Such examples resist, or defy, the other trappings and performances of boyhood that the speaker recalls: theviolences and abuses, the fights. The poem, instead, imagines the men and boys might take up any number of actions. They might holler, lift, twirl, and cradle. And just like that, this poem has bricks and blood in its eye, but also “[e]very voice becom[ing] a trumpet. Unabashed.” This poem, like History, exists on the blade-edge of touches—touch that is tender and touch that is violent—and yet it leaves us mostly with a vision of softness, community, the “this” that the speaker has always wanted. I am thankful for this poem’s record of sweetnesses in the intimate space of the barber shop. Such poems, as the people and spaces they witness, help us to survive by reaffirming what we already know: your face, your head, your fade is a kind of love poem forged out of communion, and time."