Paul Vanni

Before his bathroom mirror he sighs,
misnamed safety razor in hand;
he scrutinizes his reflection, tries
again to comprehend, to understand,
As he glares at this new set of dark red scabs.
He runs his hand over these hardened rough
wounds, the latest evidence that still he stabs
his face in his endeavors to shave close enough.
He ponders the question further: Why, these
many years later, beginning the summer day
he first nervously, feeling not at all at ease,
attempted to shave, he continues to slice away
at himself with such frequency, so visibly,
with so much self-loathing and cruelty