Eat Your Makeup

Crush antidepressants on your tongue,

and bite your bottom lip. Some women

eat four pounds of lipstick

in their lifetimes, some websites like

to proclaim. You know not to trust

every webpage, so don’t hesitate:

twist the tube anyway.

But what I want to know is

how much I can swallow

in one night to free everyone

from chemicals and feel

the perfect pouts melt

against my lips.

It’s not a silent protest

when I spend a night

licking the lips of strangers:

drag queens, women, men

who worship Marilyn Manson.

Take as many pills as you need

if you can’t live with yourself

or what you put in your body.

Black out as I coat my face

with black and firebomb red

lipsticks, coral and silver glitter,

a touch of teal, a vaudeville cadaver

come to life. I will swallow

air, food particles, and saliva,

feel the cut from someone’s

spiked tongue ring,

feel the salt down my throat.

I will try to say, I love you all

but know that the only noise

in the crowd will be the static

of your voices, monolithic,

droning, cutting me off

before I can breathe, another

pair of tainted lips meeting mine.

Justin Holliday is a lecturer and poet. His work has appeared in Lunch Review, Bloodbond, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Vanilla Sex, and elsewhere.

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