Red Lipstick (Some People)

Some people


selecting evidence in the mirror (like a clueless dog)

investing in failed architectures (from before the war)

sleeping in parental hammocks (with their shameful matrices)

souping fear in the morning (when the shadows shout)

find a guilty sun (where he sometimes used to live)

in the garage, become human, unhappy


Some people


reading the maximalist manuals (that whisper inversions of death)

gleaning yellow slivers of benevolence (like your father who cried)

licking scum rust from the truth in tin (for taste and forever)

blanching hateful marks into confusion (to safeguard sex from perspective)

glide lightly into the cafeteria, sing (with several reckless echoes)

weakly, become human, unhappy


Some people


marrying matador shadows (to sweep the sky/of ashes)

connecting dots on the bottom line (why children/are mothered into sidewalks)

flinching from hearts to parks to places (if our nonsense reductions/refuse to remain soundless)

sitting in a cell before birth (with an actor/who suffered right after)

lift a stone to see the insects, gasp (still depressing our tongues/with our teeth)

with disappointment, become human, unhappy


Some people


oppressive friction (yielding desire/wan hope addictions)

repressive fiction (furnished by limelight/warped affection)

internal immolation (an organ torch/determined by generation)

external provocation (a horror march/made clear by ululation)

learn to wear (as the sirens/drown freely)

red lipstick, become human, unhappy

Conklin Emmitt Conklin studied English Literature at San Francisco State University and now works as a bookseller in Venice, California. His work has been published in Lotus Eater Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, Transfer Magazine, and was once nominated for a Pushcart Prize.