|Oct/Nov 2013 Poetry|
Electronic/fiber artwork by Phillip Stearns
My Older Sister Taught Me How to Shave
It was some time in the afternoon
during a summer heat wave when the sticky heat
made window screens as useless as box fans
and the air conditioning created below zero wind chill
in the lower levels of our three story home.
My father was sleeping or at work. I don't remember.
We, my older sister and I, were in the upstairs bathroom
where the cool blasts of air feared to venture.
My sister had a small, pink eyebrow razor in one hand
and the other hand had a dab of lotion in the center.
She layered some lotion on one of her eyebrows
before using the razor to sheer off unwanted hairs.
I watched with fascination and asked her to teach me
how to shave the stray hairs congregating on my chin.
She finished shaping her eyebrow, left the bathroom,
and returned with a pink disposable razor in her hand.
After smearing some lotion on my nearly hairless chin,
My sister made one slow swipe across the smooth skin.
The only visible sign that I was going through puberty
swirled down the drain to join the hairs my father cut daily.
I put some lotion into my hand, lubricated a patch on my cheeks,
and raised the single bladed razor to the side of my face.
She stopped working on her eyebrow and said,
"Just don't press too hard and you'll be fine."