P—W  V° 02:07


by Leslie Kay Lim

There is a coolness to this room.
Glazed tile beneath my toes
and scrutiny in the mirror.
I can see the ghosts of
haircuts past and crows feet
yet to come. No windows here.
Nothing and no one to witness
this ritual of looking.

We examine, we pluck,
we shave and we soothe.

I fill craggy hollows,
dull sharp edges with the clay
of self-confidence so others
will look on and be unafraid.
Time only passes when
I look down and see
my fingers pruning
beneath sprays of water.
Striving feels supple—
like a cream applied,
all potted potential,
sinking easily into skin.

We open, we scoop,
we pat and we wait.

Bristles gently drag
from tender scalp to end.
Each stroke a meditation,
an affirmation, a hope.
I wonder if Delilah ever
wept for the glossy strands
she cut in the night.
Or whether she thought
he wouldn’t notice
the aftermath on the floor.

2022 © L.Lim