A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

LIPSTICK: MY SECRET (after Christina Rossetti)


"i'm flooding the Baton Rouge swamps with barf--& i just ate a lot of tubes of lipstick, so it's way colorful" -- Lara Glenum, on facebook
I tell my secret? No indeed, not I;
Perhaps some day I'll rub
it out for you; but now I'm in da club;
And you’re too curious: fie!
You want to hear it? well:
Only, my secret’s mine, and I won’t tell.

Or, after all, perhaps it's all for naught!

Suppose, when all this frantic clubbing's done,
And I go home with all the slap I've bought, 

Suppose there is no secret after all,
But only just my fun.
Today’s a sunny day, a blinding day;
In which one wants a slight
Dusting of powder, best in natural light;
I cannot ope to everyone who taps,
And let the patriarchs inspect my inner hall:
Come bounding and surrounding me,
Come buffeting, astounding me,
Nipping and clipping thro’ my guts and all.
I wear my mask for Cher: who ever shows
Her nose to Russian bros
To be pecked at by every cock that grows?
You would not peck? I thank you for good will,
Believe, but leave the truth untested still.

Spring’s an expansive time: yet I don’t trust
March with its luster dust,
Nor April with its showers of Fuchsia Flash,
Nor even May, whose dash
Of Maybelline might wither on my lash.

Perhaps some languid summer day,
When drowsy bros approach me less and less,
And my white skin is burning to excess, 

If all around is colorless and dry,
And if I've gone and smoked my smoky eye
Perhaps my secret I may puke away,
Or you may guess.

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