Monday, September 6, 2021

Two Bits by Lauren Scharhag

My husband is in the bathroom shaving.
He started wearing a beard at 24,
when he was working in the suit section
of a department store. He found that men
were more comfortable letting him measure
their inseams if he looked less twinkish.
He started balding around the same time. Now 
his hairline is probably somewhere near 
the crown of his head. It’s hard to say since, 
rather than watch the slow retreat of it, 
he took to shaving it all off.
Sixteen years later, a ritual has formed:
carefully rolling up the bath mat,
clippers to trim the beard, 
electric shaver for his head, 
a disposable razor for close work,
Ode to Joy playing on his phone. 
Hair that no-color blond that makes it hard
to see the gray coming in, falling in tufts
to the linoleum, hand broom and dustpan
at the ready. He asks me to come
check the back of his head for any 
stray patches that he missed. Sometimes, 
I take the razor and neaten him up,
kiss the nape of his neck. The mirror
holds us both, neither of us 
the high school sweethearts
who first fell in love so we just 
have to fall in love again 
every day, anew.

Lauren Scharhag is the author of fourteen books, including Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press) and Languages, First and Last (Cyberwit Press). Her work has appeared in over 100 literary venues around the world. Recent honors include the Seamus Burns Creative Writing Prize, two Best of the Net nominations, and acceptance into the 2021 Antarctic Poetry Exhibition. She lives in Kansas City, MO. To learn more about her work, visit:


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