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Mother puts on my lipstick

standing behind me, dragging the lipstick
across my lips as if they were her own.
Her free hand steadies my face. It is the red of her nails
I want on my mouth, the nails so lacquered
they catch the flash of my camera and hold it.
Mother puts on my lipstick and I stare
into the mirror, my lower lip glowing
beneath her hands. Her hands which are all of her,
and which hold me this way, as she wants me.

________________-after a photograph by Elinor Carucci

________________________________________________
Matthew Siegel is a poet and essay writer living in San Francisco. His work has appeared in Cimarron Review, Indiana Review, Southern Humanities Review, TheRumpus.net, and elsewhere. He is a former Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford and currently teaches writing and literature at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He can be found online at http://matthewsiegel.us/. He tweets at @MatthewSiegel_.

Photo by Kari Orvik

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A 2011 Pushcart Prize Nominee, Saeed Jones received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark. His poems and essays have appeared in publications like Lambda Literary, Hayden's Ferry Review, StorySouth, Jubilat, West Branch & The Collagist. His chapbook When the Only Light is Fire is available from Sibling Rivalry Press. His blog is For Southern Boys Who Consider Poetry.

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