I’m still enamored with the idea of it:
that an antique safety razor—sporting
a fresh leaf of steel--might in the end
be more scrupulous than those newfangled
plastic affairs, that this metal contraption
could show these disposable days just how
a man of quality and character shaves.
But each time I try to accompany those ranks
of no-nonsense men marching back into
the 19th Century with their Barbasol
and badger bristles, my cheeks end up
a red deeper than shame could ever muster,
my jawline left a half-stubbled field too steep
and cragged for a horse-drawn mower to manage.
Still, every few months I take down one of these
eleven-dollar thrift store beauties
from its glass-doored bathroom shrine
and hold its golden brass to my chin
|like a buttercup, risk rashes and nicks
to see if I’ve grown worthy enough
to join that group of well-groomed ghosts
staring back just beyond the mirror’s edge
through a mist of bay rum and witch hazel.
- Kevin Casey 2017
Kevin Casey is the author of 'And Waking...' (Bottom Dog Press, 2016), and the chapbooks “The wind considers everything” (Flutter Press) and “For the Sake of the Sun” (Red Dashboard). His poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in Chiron Review, Rust+Moth, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Ted Kooser's syndicated newspaper column 'American Life in Poetry.' For more, visit andwaking.com.