Category Archives: Routine

”How Many Times?”

“How Many Times?”

How many times must he shave before he dies?
Alarms; no need of them, he’s awake.
He sees an opal there among the numerals, stakes
A claim on what he is, and turns his eyes
To base reality: a simple twist; he’s beat
The clock again. What follows—once up—
Is what he’s done to predicate this morning’s cup:
The machine is on, the light’s still red; he defeats
The kitchen and deftly sallies to the bathroom to drain
The swamps of all the night before and address the mirror―pain,
A serious reconnoitring, gazing, remembering what he’s gained,
Enthusiasm―so who was that man late last night? The same,
Perhaps, but more. He does not flinch before a silvered mask
That greets him in the glass: he’ll simply shave and let it pass.