#217 v15,10.110

20th anniversay issue #4
LYN LIFSHIN : Lips
LYN LIFSHIN : THE AFFAIR

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LYN LIFSHIN
Lips

Yours, honey, were so perfect, a little rosebud mouth, not those puffed up blubbery things, my mother says when I pointed out the models’ collagen petals. “Roses,” my mother always says, “that’s what yours were, a nice tiny nose. That’s from your father. One good thing. Not a big ugly one like I’ve got.” I think of my mother’s lips, moving close to my hair, how her breath was always sweet. “Too thin lips, like your father’s,” show stinginess.” She was right. A man who couldn’t give presents or love, a good word or money. I only remember three things he told me and all begin with Don’t tho my mother said stories came from those lips, that he brought me a big dog. I only remember the thinness of his lips, how the death meant I wouldn’t have to leave school to testify for the divorce. Lips. When I came home from camp I found Love Without Fear in the bathroom and read “if a girl lets a man put his tongue on her lips down there, she’ll let him do anything,” and then some thing about deflowering. A strange word I thought trying to imagine flowers down there, rosebuds not only on my mouth, a petal opening, but a whole bush of petals, a raft of roses someone kneeling would take me away on, a sea of roses, flowers and my lips the island we’d escape to

POETRYREPAIRS #217 v15,10.110





LYN LIFSHIN
THE AFFAIR 

The Margaritas were blue with paper roses. Later I thought how they were the only salt of those nights. His e mail letters like skin, very taut. What he didn’t say drugged me. Language was wild, intense. I could feel him, his screen name a tongue. Verbs taut, what he didn’t say a drug. It was a dangerous tango. I wanted his body glued to mine. Distance kept the electricity vivid. It was a dangerous tango. How could I know his mother leaped into Niagara Falls. I fell for his words, what he left out. How could I know he was ice. How could I know his mother leaped into the falls. Even in the heat, he was icy. His name was Snow. Our last night we drove thru fog until 3. He told me things he said he’d never told anyone. My thigh burned where it touched him. On our last night we drove thru Austin mist talking. I was burning. He photographed me, exhausted, at 3 AM. Everything he told me was a scar. My hair curled in a way I hated. After that night I wasn’t sure I would be pretty again. Everything he told me was a scar. Under the ice the anger in him was lava. I wanted him, always longing for men with something missing. The Margaritas were the only salt I’d taste. The anger in him was lava under the ice. I wanted more, my longing a scar. When he didn’t write, I printed his old e mail. When I no longer looked for it his e mail was there, like a mugger. The Margaritas were strong with black paper roses

POETRYREPAIRS #217 v15,10.110




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