Shade of Choice


It looked like yet another bag of crap. But it was in this pile of old belongings for some reason, in a bag, specifically, with a knot tied at the top. I pulled out the first tube and then noticed there were more, beneath a hairbrush, and a number of disintegrating hair curlers with pink plastic pins that really were crap at this point.

I opened up one cap, the waxy aroma of lipstick as intense as the color. In her babushka, bandana-wearing chic kind of way, I’d forgotten just how pink her shade of choice was. And that she’d even worn lipstick at all. So there were at least two treasures even in that bag. Which really confounded the “let’s just get rid of everything, right away” devil on my shoulder.

This was going to take longer than I thought.

Other Names

With height, survived the dawns in which the deer broke their fasting.

Then stood between the light and the trees.

Under a shadow of heartbeats.

With chemistry, as if illuminated by dyes and magnetism before the neurosurgery.

Bloom, temporary as everything else, all at once.

Like an Annie Dillard eclipse.

Like a marriage, but perhaps more like a kiss.