The Wisdom of Others
Concerning Women

"If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, then all these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again."

~~ Sojourner Truth (1851)

"One is not born, but rather becomes a woman."

~~ Simone de Beauvoir (1953)

"Color Me BrazenBerry"

The lipstick on my dressing table
is my mother. It hovers there,
makes my lips round into an O.
I mimicked the way she shaped
her mouth when all I had to stain
my skin were summer strawberries.

The lipstick is the overt flirt dressed
in Chinese Red, longing to mambo,
to feel one strong hand placed low
on her hip. She moves her feet in time
with his, steps on his toes with grace.

The lipstick is an arrow to womanhood,
shot with dexterity. When it pierces
a man, he bleeds lust like blood, pleads
to have your Violet X-treme name
smeared in wild streaks below his navel.

The lipstick is a heady stem of wine
raised to engorged lips. Claret, burgundy,
or bordeaux reminds the reformed
alcoholic why he drank. Pour another,
he says, and after that, pour one more.

The lipstick is a knife, turns flesh
from pale to plum. Words sharpen
as they pass over the blade,
too well honed to be ignored.
People listen to a lipsticked mouth.

Lipstick is mother, flirt, arrow, wine,
knife a weapon masquerading as a beauty
enhancement product. Armed with a phallus
such as this, the last thing women
should be accused of is penis envy.

2000 MJM

Featured in the February 2001 edition of Mentress Moon
Featured in the Spring 2001 edition of interweave (zine), [I:2]


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