Genine Lentine

My Father’s Comb

Black plastic
raised letters
proclaimed it
and so I began
to bend the un-
relenting spine.
First nothing,
then a little give,
heat at the seam,
at the faultline.
Half an hour
at his mirror, I
worked at it.
I worked it away
from me and
back. I worked
at the word
until the word,
until the atom
of its lie split,
until the word
broke in my hands.

Genine Lentine
“My Father’s Comb” is from Mr. Worthington’s Beautiful Experiments on Splashes (New Michigan Press, 2010).