Roger Fanning


Baudelaire's Ablutions

Baudelaire, dead broke, nonetheless allowed himself
two hours for his morning ablutions.
(Warm water can be a narcotic too.)
His razor scraping whiskers cleanly off
sounded like a file rassrasping
against prison bars. Never did this man
gulp a cup of coffee, bolt out the door
with a blob of shaving cream on one ear,
and go to a job. He composed himself.

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