Cutting it Close

The bleat of the clipper can be heard often

in the early hours, before dawn awakes,

before I have gone to sleep. I am no sheep,

but I am shearing myself, cutting away what

I can: surgery close to the skull.

I could knit everything I’ve taken from myself

into a hairshirt, but this time I’m not doing

penance, and it’s too late for anyone else to.

At least I’m lucky–it’s an endless resource.

I can keep cutting cutting cutting it close

to the bone, bits of red and brown, but never

bleed, and when it’s done, it’s a clean sweep.


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