I use two types of mascara to get my lashes just right. I wonder what C. Bain would think of that.
Girls Putting on Make-up On the L Train
Two of them are seated next to each other.
One black, one white.
One of them painting a Russian stripper
onto an Iowa cornfield. The other,
laying out powder to deaden to mud the
dewy pleading of her face. From the brush,
she switches to a tiny, fuzz-tipped want,
sodden with gloss, to shape her mouth.
The other, prying her eyelashes away
from the socket with a small sooty comb.
In this way we pass, lurching,
under the water between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
In this way we leave home and prepare for empire.
They have the look of experts
arriving at the scene of a wreck.
Impervious to the hurling speed, the rails'
sudden unevenesses. Ready. Ready, now.