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.
Nicked again. Is nostalgia worth the
Of blotting blood like ink fresh on
Penned to the past, postmarked in
Or does it tether with velvet fetters,
Shackling pensive men inside heart-
Debauched on punch infused with
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.
Cover image by ANDI WHISKEY.