No one notices when my two eyebrows
try to reconsolidate their relationship
—not even my wife, who often massages
the blackheads from my nose.
But still, I dab the dark patch
with shaving cream and wonder
when I first became so self-conscious.
Was it when the first party of pimples
appeared on my cheeks like a group
of red-faced frat-boys waiting anxiously
for the keg? Or could it be that month
in 11th grade when I didn’t shave,
and my homeroom teacher
pointed to my porcupine beard and told me
it looked like her 6-month-old
toothbrush? Is it possible the spider
that crawled out my hair during 2nd period
clobbered my confidence
—the gaggle of freshmen laughing,
asking if I could remember
the last time I held a bar of soap? Oh!
It doesn’t matter, I mutter as a conspiracy
of wrinkles forms around my eyes.
I wet my razor with hot water,
then watch as steam fogs up the mirror—
my unibrow like a fraying rope slowly breaking
from the pull and tug of all my insecurities.
Jean-Luc Fontaine resides in New York where he teaches the arts at an elementary school in the Bronx. He enjoys cheap coffee and falling asleep on subway cars.