Lipstick

By Connie Wanek

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She leaned over the sink,
her weight on her toes,
and applied lipstick
in quick certain strokes,
the way a man signs
his hundredth autograph
of the morning.
She tested a convictionless smile
as the lipstick retracted
like a red eel.
All day she left her mark
on everything she kissed,
even the air,
like intoxicating news
whispered from ear to ear:
He left it all to me.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/11/lipstick/303544/