It is dark…you are unable to see
the cloudy mirror
a troubled lagoon makes it worse.
The lipstick unsteadily applied
in shakes and quivers, smears,
not a description or a noun,
no, this is a verb, all movement
that bleeds tropical,
a pride of Barbados,
a hand-sized hibiscus
across your lips
marking them as reckless
to give kisses, to retort or purse.
You could use some parchment,
a tissue, to blot the hemorrhage,
this glide of paraben and balm
beyond glib that comes from a tube
with its counterclockwise twist
sharing the motion of the next storm.
by Gina Ferrara
Editor’s Note: The grammatical wordplay in this poem sets the scene, but the imagery carries it into disturbing motion.