is a word you should not confuse
with labial, which describes parts
of the vagina commonly called lips
and in effect means lippy, taking
you back to your teenage strops
and to the first lipstick you bought,
its plastic tube labelled ‘rose wine’,
a pink that suited your skin so well
you still look in vain to find its match,
though at your age its formula might
be liable to seep from your mouth
in runnels, slippery as eyeshadow
melted by the tears you can’t control.

“Labile” received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (August 2017) judged by Oz Hardwick.

Also by Sharon Phillips – What does the heart mean in popular culture?