by Diana Rosen (Los Angeles, CA)
I am five,
standing eagerly at his side,
my face at my dad’s elbow,
a ready audience for this most
amazing experience: The Shave.
He pulls his nose first right, then left,
his razor whispers scritch-scratch,
edging over his upper lip; then he strokes
down through the shaving cream
leaving even rectangles on his cheeks,
a lawn mower plowing through snow.
Stroke by stroke, vanishing strips of
white foam expose his deeply tanned face.
“Damn,” he swears, as a ribbon of vermilion
winds its way down his deeply-brown chin.
Automatically, I hand him
some toilet paper to sop up
the spoils of the Gillette.
Then comes the part I like best.
He pours into his hands some crackling
cologne from the white crockery bottle
with its tiny neck and the blue sailboat
on the ballooning bottom of the bottle.
The room explodes with the scent
as he slaps it on his face:
And together we say,
“Now that’s a mechayeh.”
[Mechayeh—Yiddish for “a pleasure.”]
Diana Rosen’s flash fiction and poetry have been published in anthologies and journals including, among others, Kiss Me Gooodnight and Altadena Poetry Review, Rattle, Tiferet Journal, Silver Birch Press, Ariel Chart, and Poetic Diversity. She has published thirteen non-fiction books. and teaches freewrite classes at senior citizen centers.