Men, when freshly shaved and smooth,

stroke their cheeks as though to say

others should touch them too, to feel

a newborn’s softness. Every day


the beardless have another chance -

what their mothers knew, themselves to know:

the wonder of such pristine flesh,

like virgin, unfootprinted snow.


Some go electric - Philips, Braun.

I need the cold edge of the blade,

the nicks, the blood, but then the sense

of innocence, not yet mislaid.



First published in Dream Catcher 33, July 2016