Makeup Tutorial 4: Smokey-Eye – Robin Gow
I think I would probably die without my eyeliner,
but besides that I’m pretty basic.
Every makeup kit needs
a box of matches.
The desire to burn is human.
That smolder / she’s smokin hot /
hot / flaming / steaming / smoke it out /
smoke it up / burning / seething /
she’s on fire / burning up / simmering /
boiling / festering / flickering / blazing /
Collect lighters off the sidewalk when you can.
There is likely a flicker or two left in them.
Pour the fluid over your face.
The tingling means it’s working.
is best done
to know your
Move the brush in circles.
Blend it. Smog. Inhale deeply
every time a truck pours exhaust
from its back pipe.
I used to press hot match heads into my forearms
because I was too scared to press them into my face.
Be bold. Learn from my mistakes.
Makeup will cover all kinds of pain.
Use ashes for makeup. Charcoal
from the grille outback.
Your face is on fire. No one can help but look at you.
Take pictures quickly. Smile so the flames get
between your teeth. An even application.
Watch as your smoke trails up
and mixes with clouds. It’s harder
to breathe each day. It’s not your fault though.
You’re just one girl.
Robin Gow is the author of OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL DEGENERACY (Tolsun Books 2020) and the chapbook HONEYSUCKLE (Finishing Line Press 2019). Their poetry has recently been published in POETRY, New Delta Review, and Roanoke Review. They is a graduate student and professor at Adelphi University pursing an MFA in Creative Writing. They is the Editor at Large for Village of Crickets and Social Media Coordinator for Oyster River Pages.