Fathom Mag
Short Story

Vanity Reflections

A poem

Published on:
April 22, 2020
Read time:
1 min.
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The razor was left to me by my late

Grandad—German steel, a muted brass band

Hugs the neck, inlaid ivory—its weight

Alone is satisfaction in the hand.

While eyes work well enough for judging gold,

Let hearts appraise what only hearts can hold.

This poem is part of our April collection of poetry and short story contest winners.

Nicked again. Is nostalgia worth the 


Of blotting blood like ink fresh on 


Penned to the past, postmarked in 

     crimson stain?

Or does it tether with velvet fetters,

Shackling pensive men inside heart-

     shaped cells

Debauched on punch infused with 

     wistful spells?

If life is the sum of memories made,

And home the sum of those memories shared,

What becomes of both when memories fade

Like old photographs or stains washed and aired?

Holding things another held is keeping

Bound and dammed up memories from seeping

Out. I now know why grandad’s vanity

Held next to Barbasol a flask of rye.

His teetotaling Christianity

Blurred a bit when the aftershave ran dry

And forced his hand to resurrect the tin,

Cleanse his wounds and then whet his throat with sin.

If a nicked up face is the price to save

Just one memory, I’d bleed ev’ry shave.

Landon Porter
Landon Porter is a database developer who writes poetry as an extension of his ability to bring together form (computer code) and function (user interface design). Writing poetry is a natural outlet for his love of order and beauty. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his wife and three children. He is a sucker for a good metaphor and is the family de facto genealogist. You can connect with him on Instagram and Twitter.

Cover image by ANDI WHISKEY.

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