Sunday, November 10, 2013



She gazes in the mirror

As the memory of a younger face begins to fade

A shaking hand reaches up to wipe away the steam

To wipe away the dream

And there in the glass

The past falters to a red beginning

To a distant horizon

Where a man stands shaving

His neck stretched upward

His chin pointing to the mirror

A razor in his hand

Triumph over the weak in his countenance

A bottle of Jim Beam on faded Formica

To steady the nerves of a man's last day

The burning brings courage, chasing the fear

Liquid fire drips through her chest

The devils tears

In another room she hears her mother

Sobs of regret behind broken doors

Holes in walls

Stains on floors

Her fallen angel

The angel that could not fly

Looking through this window into the infinite

Looking back with no fear of the instrument she has become

She remembers the sound of the gun

Echoing in the small bathroom

And the spray of a man's last day

Covering the walls in pathetic loss

Living fluid beating through the heart of a monster

Now nothing more than paint

The smell of the shaving cream

She opens the drawer of the vanity

And gazes at the razor

Yellowed ivory, stained with one scarlet drop

Never to be wiped away

One raised chin

One shaking hand

One memento of him


A.W. Whitford