Wordy Wednesday: Old Lipstick

I HAVE INTERNET ACCESS ON MY LAPTOP! After spending basically every free moment since I arrived Saturday at Oxford struggling to find a USB to Ethernet adapter, I’ve finally got one. And it is beautiful.

The last time I had internet access on something with a halfway decent keyboard was two weeks ago yesterday, back in the bowels of the Michigan suburbs, USA. Now I’m sitting in a fancy schmancy dorm room at a beautiful college at Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, EUROPE. Obviously: a lot has happened since I last wrote a Wordy Wednesday.

I’ve been to Amsterdam, and Paris, and London. I’ve eaten all manners of food, and met all sorts of awesome people, and gotten sick in a country where I didn’t speak the language, and climbed the Arc de Triomphe, and saw Anne Frank’s house, and visited a fake Van Gogh museum, and ate tons of really delicious French bread, and basically ALL THE THINGS. Today our program took all of us out to Winchester and Chawton to see where Jane Austen is buried, and where she died, and where she lived, and also–oh yeah–supposedly the Great Hall that used to house THE Round Table.

And it has been incredible. And lovely. And as much as I miss my family and friends and home, I’m also really going to miss Europe when I go back to the States at the end of August. (Considering going to grad school now literally just so I can come back to Oxford for longer than a month.)

I have so many pictures and stories to share, but right now, it’s after midnight for me and I’ve got a couple books to read and a paper to write and some places to explore before I leave for this weekend’s trip (back to London!)–so: sorry, but my gushing with specific details is going to have to wait for another post. (SERIOUSLY THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING SO UNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE WONKY POSTING THE PAST FEW WEEKS!)

In the meantime, this week’s Wordy Wednesday is a poem I wrote while cleaning out my bathroom drawers at the beginning of the summer.


The taste like chalk,

consistency rubbery dry;

color orange-red, vibrant.

Dance recitals, ten years,

and stage lights baking it

to my lips.

Tube of cheap grey plastic,

clear rectangular top;

name written in careful thin tip

Sharpie by Mom’s careful hand

at the base, a side per part.

And now the lipstick twisted

from its tube, naked

on a Kleenex on my

milky pink counter,

and the last application

on my lips, tongue;

smudgy and strong

in my nose.

Close my eyes and the bathroom

lights are stage lights;

five years old,

the beginning of the show–

it’s long over now.

Time for a new tube, color, flavor

of lipstick.

Wash it from my hands

and stare in the mirror

at my lips and the twenty-year-old

behind them.

A ballerina somewhere in there.


Thanks for reading!



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