Primed, a film of cream brushed into lather,
supple to thumb and to a five-edged Schick,
he arches for no pro barber his neck
to tame the bristles: his brother
knows that from the cheekbone to the temple
the dark patch is not birthmark, not there before
self-inflicted blows became feature.
I slide it aside, and glide blade down the stubble.
Once he was our father's spitting image,
papa who, younger then than I am now, stood
beside me when impatient for manhood
I raised to face a razor at sixteen. We've aged:
he's now our mother's father. Ghostly witnesses
coalesced, steam from the faucet rises.
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