Lipstick on Bathroom Mirrors

By Legacy Russell

re-romance is retrograde :

failing tests of modernism like bellbottoms ringing in insolence

or

theories of a store-bought kewpie
politico

branded with stars of black on an
abused forehead beaten to a blush-

morning grapefruit sours in separation groans in disagreement with each push of persistent spoons round objects scar like whips licking fingers impatient tongues serrated into the drugs of romance by the blinding teeth of blenders-

there is listlessness in sylvia’s hair golden locks keyless and continued
knotted in

elegies and self-sacrifice she eats
fruit with her hands citric acid
pinching at fingers frosty
and impotent in their inelegance

nicks and grooves out-scream slips of ladydom silvered and guilded with
american boredom

-company is absent and she drinks
wine from tight-necked bottles
foregoing the victorian conservatism
of such a tiny hole of entry
in bedrooms devoid of shadows

it is when our heads hit metal bars
when oven cleaner makes vomit pool up
within cheeks that we miss the point
of today wishing for some sort of
tomorrow’s yesterday to compensate
for penniless perspectives drained of
insight

scrubbed clean and gleaming
like coffins in their
prospective glamour-

did sylvia think of daughters when her goldilocks realized the smell of burnt tongue hindering linguistic
porridge

packaged in plastics all
yellowed and greened, the
star-strangled foot stones of
Hollywood boulevards

or did she ponder momma and poppa bear and the vests of fur she had made from their skin furious tufts of brown poking out from the female parts of fastened bodices silenced in their silk-

superstardom for a girl is never toohot/toocold/justright unless she is dead and if we are still alive we are made ashamed of reaching:

how does hair that is too short fall
over oven racks with ease who can
teach us or do we improvise until we
expert the ritual of routine

who has it struck as strange that
there is this movement to expire and
who shoulders the humiliation of
turning down the offer to become the
daisies in neatly manicured lawns
straining necks to get closer to a
waxen sun

did she smell the gas and persevere

did her heart flutter before language became deoxygenated

did she feel the need to decompress

perhaps she did not realize-after all we spend our entire lives in fast cars driven by little boys we smoke cigarettes summer ourselves until we are burnt to a crisp and take too many pills

and none of it ever unwraps us
entirely

maybe she just wanted a warm corner to write in and was tired of sunshine

there was no mirror and lipstick is too difficult to apply when inside of a speeding vehicle