Poetry by Monique Quintana

“we smile at the scissor slits in our face.”



The white girl with the locker across from me
always asked to wear my lipstick—
It was the color of my menses,
the thing I had for just one year. She had hair stick-strait hair the color of sand and mine
was a dark tumbleweed with unintentional bangs, like Bettie Paige. I hand her the lipstick in
her warm white fingers and she hands it back, like we are passing a prayer, and we both
smack in the mirror, amid the slamming of lockers— we smile at the scissor slits in our face.
Why is it that when we say blood red, we think of bright red like a fairy tale? The red lipstick
we wanted was 1995, and we both knew then that blood red is really a dark brown, the
cesspool—our very bodies rejecting themselves.

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