“A Cut Shaving” by Joe Albanese

The shards of blanket comfort

are all that remain—what framing work

this is, what demeaning work this has

become—begging like the hen baking bread.

A subaltern on the verge of demotion. Our

what and only-ifs have stenciled a paint by

numbers. What if I lack the proper color?

Neither of us has seen the distance, and now

we seep through ourselves. That and stained 

vermillion are all that remain on the tile floor.


Joe Albanese is a writer from South Jersey. His work can be found in publications across the U.S. and in ten other countries. Joe is the author of Benevolent King, Caina, Smash and Grab, Candy Apple Red, For the Blood is the Life, and a poetry collection, Cocktails with a Dead Man.

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