The Rage of Caliban

Each morning I shave a stranger,
smear his face with Gillette foam,
scratch a double-bladed Wilkinson down
finger-stretched skin, across cheeks

held taut against the sweep of steel,
nick blood-spots beneath the lower lip.
Seven minutes it takes, naked
in the bathroom; being a man,

don't have to spend an hour
of shrinking time to please strangers
like the one in the mirror, fashioning
a mask to help me meet the day.

©Tate Gallery