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Five Summer Beauty Essentials

. . . as Chosen by Myself at Age 12

by Julia Gibson

I have always loved summertime, especially the beginning of the season. As a 12 year old, it meant that school was out and I would have all the free time I wanted. It meant fantasizing about this being my summer, the one when some cute boy with center-parted hair would compliment my butterfly clips and we would smooch on a dock somewhere.

Now, with all the responsibilities of adulthood sucking up my time during the summer months, I sometimes yearn for the days when my biggest concern was which Roxy bikini I should wear to a pool party. So I went off in search of some summer beauty essentials that would take me back to a time when Christina Aguilera ruled the charts and dEliA*s was still the #1 place to shop for chunky platform shoes:

 

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1. From Lipsmackers to Baby Lips

I, like many girls who hit puberty around Y2K, was a devout user of Bonne Bell lip products. I hoarded Lipsmackers and Flipgloss like there was no tomorrow. I eventually graduated to Lancôme Juicy Tubes, and yearned for a tube of MAC Lipglass. At this age, however, I have no tolerance that sticky, tacky feeling of gloss on my lips.

Which brings us to Maybelline Babylips Moisturizing Lip Gloss. I picked “pink pizzazz” because it reminds me the most of my go-to Lipsmacker gloss flavor, pink lemonade. I like it because it doesn’t feel sticky, gives a very sheer wash of color, and made my lips feel moisturized even after I took it off. 12 year old me would like this gloss because it’s shiny, has cute packaging, and smells like froot loops.

2. Pucker Up, Sugar Lips

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Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment is like Lipsmacker lip balm for the adult set. I use this product every day, and it’s definitely something that I would have thrown in my messenger bag in middle school. It uses sugar, meadowfoam, and black current oil to moisturize and condition lips. It manages to feel great on lips with a significant color payoff. It also has SPF 15, which is a factor I never cared about/paid attention to when I was younger but is super important to me now.

 

 

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Who Reminds Me Too Much of What I Used to Be (To Boddah)

by Marcus Clayton

Who Reminds Me Too Much of What I Used to Be (To Boddah)

-as performed by Kurt Cobain

The roar is not the baptism
they say it’s supposed to be. I mean,
have you ever felt that surge
run through your blood on stage?
For me, it’s usually just the electric
shock of a Monster cable propped
under sweaty knees, exposed
by slit jeans at show’s end.

Otherwise, I never felt it, even with Stratocaster
wood splintered in my palm and callouses
over my fingertips marked with grooves dug
deep from rusted gauge .10 Ernie Balls. I feel
none of that.

_______I lie down in a junkshop massacre:
instruments shattered across stage—shards
of a broken mirror—with strings
slashed and spread liked sliced veins.
Dave’s cracked snare that rolls
like a tumbleweed, Kris’ bass dents
the stage like a hammer to the nose.

_______I only ever feel the microphones
thrown in my face, I feel the tear in my throat
that peels away every night like the skin
on the corner of my thumb. They tell me
the kids sing so loud, but I can’t hear them.
Their applause is supposed to be hail,
but I just hear muffled drops of rain.

_____________________Who knew
it is just as dangerous with the lights
out, when everyone on the other side
of darkness knows your name? They always
find me after shows, so much brighter
in person, and shove pens in my hands
(I always fear they will miss, and jam them between
my fingers), they do not hear my skull
crack when I force smiles.

_____________________If they could stop
asking me if God is really gay, I’d appreciate
that. I really don’t know, but I can tell them
all about the way Frances laughs
at home—when her voice bounces off tile
during a bubble bath in echoes
serene like a Fender Mustang vomiting feedback.

It’s so easy to be Freddy Mercury around her
when she needs a lullaby with her cheek
on my chest. She does not scream
when my jagged fingers skate across
her sprouting hair.

______________I’d hate me, too, if I never
froze the moments where I was her pillow,
and let her grow up to the stare of strangers,
the foreign grins—teeth gleaming like a thousand
piano keys.

_______But, I guess I should get up now
that the house lights blind me. Cheers die
down after an extended, bloody “Endless,
Nameless?” Like anyone even knows
that fucking song.

_______I would like to go home.
______________I would like to go home.
Even if I can’t hear the screams leak out
of my own throat, I would like to go
home. I would like to sing lullabies
before I am no longer
_______able to fill the holes
__________where our hearts should go.

– – – – –

marcusMarcus grew up in South Gate, CA, and holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from CSU Long Beach. He coordinates poetry-reading events in Long Beach, is an editor for American Mustard, and a reader for The Offing. Some of his published work can be seen in Tahoma Literary Review, San Pedro River Review, RipRap Journal, Bird’s Thumb, and Canyon Voices Literary Magazine among others.

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Tease

by Kora Darling

Write something about yourself.”

It’s advertising time again. I sit drinking, trying to sort out who exactly I am this week.

If I were to be honest, my anxieties would leak onto the page like the oil that drips from my car onto the asphalt in front of my home, publicly staining my inadequacies across the road.

But like the paint I apply to may face each night, I build the confidence necessary to present myself naked and dishonest to the world, brazenly baring my body in place of my soul.

I step confidently again and again onto a stage of blurry faces and halitosis.

I roll my hips from side to side, offering a peek at a fantasy no one believes.

– – – – –

kora

 

Kora Darling is an ecdysiast living in the Pacific Northwest. She loves cats, fancy underthings, and swimming in natural bodies of water.

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Unfinished

by Dayna Crumback

Unfinished

He might be Native American
I’m not sure
His bicep says so
But why believe an unfinished tattoo—

A faded
Outdated
Native American armband
With a sad, drunken feather

He couldn’t finish
Pain got to him
For someone who is used to
Inflicting pain

On untainted
Free spirited souls
(Just like Native Americans did
Right?)

Maybe he literally wears
His heart on his sleeve
And the needle tore into
Something real

For once

The ink sinking
Into feeling. Lost,
Faded, outdated,
And unfinished

– – – – –
dayna

Dayna is a graduating senior at Siena Heights University. She performs spoken word, and has been published in the university literary journal, Eclipse. She hopes to write her own book of poetry.

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