Poem originally published in Poydras Review


My grandfather, more of a father than my father himself,

taught me to shave before the age of eight.

I was in a rush as always

adding a half or a quarter to my age.


He rubbed the cream between his fingers.

They were cracked and worked

like the earth on the playground.

He was bowlegged from riding the ideal of a cowboy.


I took the  mirror seriously

for the first time in Texas

my faced wreathed with a fake beard

as the odor of sandalwood heralded in

a new age.


Two decades and a handful of continents later

I was on the other side of the world

in a chair as usual and not so hurried this time.

The barber sharpened his razor.


And as he applied the acrid lather

the olfactory happiness short-cut back,

and I fell out of the mirror

and into the memory of my ancestors.

I smiled at the mere thought of my grandfather.


“Don’t move or I’ll cut your throat” the barber cried.


-Nostalgia can be fatal if you let it get the best of you.

2 Comment on “The Limbic System

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