Unbreak My Face

The All-American Pool guy
knocked on my door yesterday
&came through the garage
to sell me on a re-plaster.
White’s the cheapest, but
there’s also sand &other colors
I couldn’t possibly entertain.
How old is the pool, he wants to know.
I waffle. Not quite 20? Not quite sure.
He says, that’s long enough
for the chemicals to refuse
to stay in balance, long enough
for the walls to start flaking off,
the floors to begin showing fissures,
& I’m thinking, shut up
That’s my face you’re talking about,
&right then &there I decide
I’ll not give him my business
but instead go with the fiberglass guy
who struck a piece of his material
with a hammer to show me how indestructible
my new face will be. James can start
in the Spring, when things warm up.

(for Quickly)


13 thoughts on “Unbreak My Face

  1. This is a strong poem for the turn it takes from pool to face. Reminds me of the poetry of Randall Jarell who made metaphors of domestic activities to represent inner feelings and approaches. I’d say no to an aviator-glasses guy, too. Good detail to include, however, as are details of the cracked and unbalanced skin of the pool (and the face of the narrator). Going with fiberglass sounds just right–but don’t take a hammer to it. I don’t think our faces could take it. Thanks for such evocative work!

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