justin holliday

Shaving Solution

At the mirror I slice twice until the cuts
meet at the base of my clavicle:
V marks the spot: place the dollar-store
cameo in the proper place: generic
junk jewelry with burgundy background
and listless alabaster silhouette.

The pressure against razored skin flaps
imbue this woman that I never really knew
though for fifteen years I saw her around
my mother’s neck: choking her,
relieving her of this vain sentience: I am
purple veined beneath the messy hairs.

When she died, I thought of that ribbon
with its warped clasp: the pretentious
style: the Victroiana salute of passivity: I am
massively in her thrall: mute, mutable: when I
shave the woman in me comes out and
I’m missing: your last, unspoken word.


If I pulled out my spine,
the vertebrae would click
like red checkers, and
the chipped pieces would
wrap around your throat

or I would fall to the floor again.

Justin Holliday is a student at Clemson University. He has work forthcoming in Carnival and Main Street Rag.