If I was the woman
in the gas station convenience store
sweeping up the dead leaves,
cigarette butts, dirt
and bugs that accumulate over the week,
what shade of lipstick would I wear?
Deep red to surprise
those drifting passerbys
who assume by my oversized dressings that I’ve grown too tired for
movie star dreams;
Or a softly generic pink
to match the slight flush in my cheeks
from the new cold breezes and the faded wall shades
and the dullness of simple chores;
Or just a gloss,
barely discernible to all but me…

Yes, with the gloss I imagine that
every time my tongue reached out in habit,
I would taste a faint stickiness of strawberry flavoring
And smile inside.

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