King of Kreations
Onliest man who lay hands on me. Pointer finger pad between my eyes.
Pinky knuckle cool on cheekbone. God of precision, blade at my throat,
for a half hour, you love me this way. Together we discover what I got
from my folks—widows peak, dandruff, hair growing fast in concentric O’s.
Claude, so damn beautiful, I can count on one hand the times I’ve looked
directly in your face, for fear I might never come back. You knower of me.
To get right I come to you. When I’m finna interview. When I’m finna banquet
or party. When I must stunt, I come to you—
It is mostly you, but, not always. After all you gotta eat too.
So sometimes it’s Percival, face like stones, except when he’s smiling.
Sometimes it’s Junior who sings the whole time he lines up the crown.
No matter how soft my body or how many eyes find it and peel
when I walk in the shop in the chair, I am of them.
Not brother. Not sister. When he wields the razor and takes me
low it’s like when a woman gets close to the mirror to slide the lipstick
on slow. Draws a line so perfect she cuts her own self from the clay.
Copyright © 2018 by Angel Nafis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 12, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.