A stick of something that sticks to your lips

And why would you want to stick something to your lips

Oils, waxes and a variety of colors

Hopefully no longer Cleopatra’s crushed bugs

Are you an upper class Elizabethan woman

Or a male actor portraying said woman.

Respectable ladies foreswore the practice

Bequeathing it to shameless and uncouth women of ill repute.

Denizens of the stage brushed on carmine dye

Created from creepy-crawlies living on cactus plants.

The Divine Sarah scandalously applied lipstick in public.

Aspiring to acceptability,

now presented

“Rouge for lips and cheeks”

in a catalogue by Sears Roebuck.

A true statement of patriotism

Rosie the Riveter with bright red lips.

Keep your courage high

and your lipstick handy.

Declare independence from your elders

A proclamation of your sexuality

Signaling you were “loose”

Or masquerading as Marilyn or Liz

Decreed in advertising

Redder than red

Guaranteed kissproof

To “stay on you, not him.”

Lipstick declares your femininity

Makes a pig attractive

Links the victim with the suspect

Proclaims your uniqueness

Lift your spirits

Announces today’s attitude

Classic, mod, hippie, goth, glamour, punk

A tube or brush containing

A manifestation of your sovereignty

Comprised of

Bromo acid, D&C Red No 7, 21 and 34

Titanium dioxide, mica, silica, bismuth oxychloride

And maximum 20 parts per million of lead.