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  • Three lipsticks? True, I usually buy one a year in a fit of thinking I will wear it, or that it will last more than three minutes once applied, or that it will somehow look natural, as if that were the point. Never mind also about the Splenda and two other products containing it, but please understand that my friend, an MD who somehow worked on the development of the product, says it’s real food, not a chemical, I can eat it. And I love it in a latte. See how the artificial sweetener wants to cover the natural sugar behind? A baggage claim receipt makes me remember that I have been somewhere far away within recent memory, if I could only remember where or when. Florida, most likely before it was so hot here and everything threatening to burn. And so many things for tying back hair. Everything fraught with metaphor and begging for justification. Things for holding, painting, changing, sweetening. None essential. Except the poem, a leftover favor from our tenth anniversary party, six years ago. Phillip Larkin, who is not generally so lithe, and yet here whimsical—shine out my sudden angel—when dumped from my purse, next to the ibuprofen you can’t see, in an envelope, the endodontist gave me after the last root canal, which after all relieved pain more than causing it.
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