local_library The Difference

by Rachel Dacus

Published in Issue No. 73 ~ June, 2003

You scrape while I daub:

a difference in our bathroom:

one augments, the other minimizes.

A long-married couple is a paradigm

of unreason. You would stage our life,

I, reveal; you would trim, contain,

while I bend to collect stray

acorns and lemons to array on a shelf.

Then there’s the matter of razors:

mine pink-handled and curvy, nicks

more flesh than your stiff-legged

soldier bearing its twin scimitars

onto a lank field of damp skin.

We agree to avert bloodshed

by not using each other’s.

And mirrors: one is wiped of distracting

fog. The other magnifies a cheek

to moon-size, the better to probe

each follicle or pock. A landing field,

mine is filled with colors while yours

reflects in black and white,

diagrams hair, angles and doubts.

In mine we plant on peau douce.

a united nations of brightness,

and here is the crux of our truce:

a ruse or a razing ? we can each choose.