Lipstick

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Deep, wet, dark red, glistening.
Fresh morning lipstick
blooms on women’s lips.

Contained blood filling contours
or missing them.
Catching teeth.

At mealtimes, displaced on glass rims
fork tines, white fish
cigarette filters.

Greetings leave lipstick botched on cheekbones.
By midday it lingers in mouth corners
slightly glutinous.
Passion smears it on earlobes, T-shirts.
In restaurants aunts unsheathe it.
Children eat it.

My mother had a special handkerchief
for blotting it.
Red mouth bows danced like live things
and a pink circle always capped
her little finger.

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