Pursuing the pleasure

I like lipstick.
Red lipstick, to be exact.

I don’t always smear it on right.
Sometimes it lodges itself into the corners of my mouth,
stains the front of my two-front teeth.
Sometimes I wear it way too much.
But I like the way it makes me feel beautiful.

I could be a pious Catholic school girl and refuse it for its vanity.
I could be a cynical environmentalist and refuse it for its ingredients.
I could be a proud anti-capitalist and refuse to buy it – and anything – at all.
But I buy it anyway,
because I like the way it makes me feel beautiful.

I stopped reading fiction books because it made me feel indulgent.
I stopped buying fun party clothes because I never got invited much.
I stopped eating chocolate and cookies because ‘they’ told me not to gain weight.
I stopped pursuing the feeling of pleasure,
and I think I stopped being me.

I traded in a romance book for a stack of environmental tombs.
I quit the sweets, and cut back on everything else, because I didn’t think I deserved it.
I don’t watch television shows because I don’t have (or can’t afford) that kind of time.
I only listen to old music,
and wonder what else it is I’m missing.

I don’t really deserve any of this, I think all too much.
I don’t deserve these options, these opportunities, that I squander in the dust.
I don’t take all the chances for fear of rejection,
and I surely don’t take a chance on love as often as I’d like.

But I still buy red lipstick,
because it makes me feel beautiful.

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In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017. #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2017

View more poetry here and here

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