A History of Shaving

by Janna Knittel

Memory holds no photograph of me
watching my father shave
so I don’t know why
it fascinates.
I watched my college boyfriend lather
with cheap Colgate foam, scented
of safety and manhood.
He protected me
from a friend who lost his mind, our
roommates, my creativity.
He said his mother said
I was ugly.
I’ve shared mirrors with other men,
watched them shave (except
the one whose beard I
hated.) My fetish
lasts, though they all faded.
The one I do laundry
with now makes
monkey faces
in the glass:
lips in an exaggerated kiss, chin
up, chin down. As I look
on, years and layers
peel away.
When we kiss, we touch new
skin to new

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