Mascara Wand

by Jane Richardson

It slides up the smooth, damp tube

Then waits.

Rough friction as bristles squeeze through.

Quick slurpy toad-kiss

And it’s out. Deep channel of mud

Left behind.


Crust of old dried-out mud

Clings to the top of the long

Thin wand, reluctant

To join the rest. Blackness pushes

Though the gaps. So strong!

Stronger than the wilting head


Like a mushy screw, messing things

Up. Hairy caterpillar soaked

In sewage

Coils smugly around the tip.

Gunky ammunition trapped in the gaps.

Scratching and pointing. It’s ready.