The Kiss

By Kate Maxwell

Why do they eat so much lipstick?

Apparently, in a lifetime

more than their own weight

consumed in every traffic 

light stop, toilet break 

and corridor waiting.

Often flaked like drought-dried 

mud or just a faint ‘O’ shape

fading into outline.

When I leaned to kiss her

at the door, she tasted 

like musk detergent 

and left me with

a pink tooth-stained smile

and urgency for tissues.


Kate Maxwell is yet another teacher with writing aspirations. She’s been published and awarded in Australian and International literary magazines such as Cordite, Hecate, fourW, Meniscus, Blood and Bourbon, and Brilliant Flash Fiction. Kate’s interests include film, wine, and sleeping. Her first poetry anthology will be published with Interactive Publications, Brisbane, in 2021. She can be found online here.

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