If That’s What It Takes

By Leena Taylor

She put on blunt red lipstick

She knew he liked it

She could tell by the way he stared at her

Red was not her color

She hated it

But he liked it

That was all that mattered

She rubbed the red ink

Deep into her natural pink hue

It was like war paint

And in a way this was war

And she would be damned before any other woman beat her

She didn’t even love him

In fact she hardly liked him

But that hardly mattered at all

What mattered was that he liked her

He chose her

No matter what he had to keep choosing her

Or the others would talk

So that night she let him smear her red lipstick

All over the cheap polyester sheets

She didn’t even like it

But he liked it

And that, of course, is all that matters