Table Router With a Carbide Cutter at 20,000 RPM

From the garage dad screams

my name, the tone

shivers me. (I drop the game)

Booming footsteps down the hall, we converge

in the bathroom,

eyes don’t meet.


He in and ex hales heavily, groans,

grips his hand pale,

runs water over torn white-and-blood finger.

I just stare

at the spiraling ruby, diffused.


A fingernail hangs, I remove it with

what’s at hand—dull scissors

from the medicine cabinet.

He pulls his hand from the water,

(all the more jagged, now clean),

I hastily bandage as if

protecting it from the air.


I don’t remember afterward if

he thanked me

or looked me in the eyes

or just went back to work.

We are both men.