Mauve is the lipstick we stole from your mother, 

smeared sideways across your mouth and all over 

your Sprite bottle, 

a clandestine weight in your pocket  

as we hurried home across the dew-slick grass. 


Mauve is the short tulle dress hanging on my doorknob 

that we picked out together, at a mall 

with too-bright lights, that I danced in 

with you in the dressing room, 

socks sliding across the grimy floor, 

and never wore again. 


Mauve is the chipped polish 

scattered across your fingernails like constellations 

as you grabbed my hand in a cheering crowd –

somehow yours was warm and soft, unlike mine,

charred and frozen by winter –

while the scent of grease and hot dogs wafted through the air

and fireworks crackled in the sky.


Mauve is the flower tucked behind your ear 

as we talked into the trees 

one endless summer day, the air sweet and the 

possibilities stretching before us 

like unfurled ribbon, cutoffs and thin T-shirts 

sticking to our skin, 

one of those days my mind would return to 

deep within January nights. 

what is mauve?

mauve is dark and light,

silence and screaming,

chaos and symmetry.

mauve is the blush spreading across your cheeks,

the bracelets we stitched onto our water bottles,

our laughs when they mingle,

the warmth of your house.


Mauve is the smiles

stretching across our cheeks one early-spring day

because we know how to put on lipstick now.



Posted in response to the challenge Spring: Writing Contest.



14 years old

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