Raccoon Face

— Jerry Dyer

Lathering at the mirror,
I notice the brilliant line
between my bare face
and the shaving cream,
my florid hue bleeding pink
into the foam.

I won’t live long, I muse,
Everything in me boils
right to the top: the spicy food,
the salad oil, all of it glistens
in an instant on my skin,
as if my stomach were the root
of some voracious
red blossom.

I shake my head, not wanting
to admit that my feelings,
too, roil uninterrupted
between the surface and the depths,
that my face is but a shiny cousin
to my heart.

I finish shaving,
squint into the reflection,
see the baggy shadows
white around the eyes,
like a photo negative, reversed,
or a raccoon’s face, caught
in the glare of sunlight,
drained of all its lies.

One thought on “Raccoon Face

  1. I am a great fan of your poetry, Jerry! (And I must admit that I am quite a fan of you as a person!). This is another one of your seemingly small poems that somehow carry the immense weight of what it means to be human. Who’d ever guess that a poem about looking at your face in the mirror becomes a meditation on self and persona, and ultimately, mortality. You, Sir, on your worst day are a philosopher, and, on your best day, you are a sage!

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