The lather is too cool too soon. The weight
of blade draws nigh, begins its swathing scrape,
sweet tingling loss. The Gillette Corp. says men
shave 48 square inches 24 times,
and women, 412 square inches
11 times, each month, gardens where
we make time with our hands. Oooh, bare throat
and burning bush. Our silent crop of day,
a fine gray powder every dawn. A fright
of deep reflection shadowing the soul.
We work together well. We mug and make
those baby faces just to keep it light,
stave off the hobo’s seediness. We seek
to travel back to Smoothland, innocent,
before the itchy plague of hair and hide.
We pretend we don’t see the scary clown
who grins at us, the killjoy, Mr. Skull.
David Citino is the author of twelve volumes of poetry, most recently The News and Other Poems (University of Notre Dame Press) and The Book of Appassionata: Collected Poems and The Invention of Secrecy (both from Ohio State University Press). Paperwork (Kent State University Press), a collection of essays, was published in 2004. He is contributing editor of The Eye of Poetry: Six Views of the Art and Craft of Poetry (Oxford), and teaches at Ohio State, where he is Poet Laureate of the University.