Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Shaving Your Father's Face

First I get a father
from some city
of fathers

One with a neck

bright 
red

And with all the tiny bird bones in my fingers carefully tip his chin back into the light like love
     so I can see
     so I can smell

I tell a dirty joke, then drag the steel across the universe

There's nothing better
than shaving your father's face
except maybe
shaving

your mother's legs

My bedside manner is impeccable

The white foam
stays white


*


In the evening
his face attracts moths and women
sons 
daughters

It's as if his chin is made of Christmas lights, you have to shave the moths and family off
     it takes forever

The wings get all over your fingers

I like to use Merkur Super
platinum coated
stainless
steel

You could write on water with it

Rust free
Rost Frei

Made in Germany
so it will

last and last


*


Shaving my father's face
I'm not shaving
my face

I'm shaving my brain

Lifting
the gray folds
to get at
the pink parts

Stuffing toilet paper into all the tiny holes I cut so it looks like a field of red flags waving
     paper tulips
     love notes

The universe wants a close shave
it wants its hair
high
and tight

You could bounce a dime off dad's skin

My hand
on your face can you
feel it

Credit


From Flies. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Author


Michael Dickman

Poet Michael Dickman's second collection of poetry, Flies, received the 2010 James Laughlin Award

Date Published: 2010-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/shaving-your-fathers-face