Tuesday poem: Fernando Pessoa shaves

PS Cottier

Fernando Pessoa shaves

— and needless to say, the mirror
has three leaves. So at least
twelve chins require scraping
(for they all go beardless,
or at least, sometimes so)
and one, or four, can’t always
leave, to visit the barber.

Eight hands, a lively polvo,
attempt to shave straight,
but, let’s face it (ha!)
straight is not really
in their repertoire.
It is disconcerting when a man
metamorphoses from Fernando
into Alberto between nose and chin

as one uses a blade as blunt
as omniscience. Little rivers
open up, and flow into each other.
In one mirror-wing, Álvaro bleeds
and in the other, Ricardo winces.
The eight hands become twice twelve
in the trinity of glass.

In the corner of one wing,
see that crack? One, or four,
become a jigsaw, no, a galaxy
of Fernando and his others.
This is the image which one might
or could…

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