In other circumstances
helping Tiffany apply her lipstick
could have been perceived as an intimate act
 
but I was her psychologist
and here in Honeywell’s Pharmacy
 it was merely therapeutic
part of mastering the Activities of Daily Living
 
Still, the counter girl, one of the Honeywells
who had been in my Psychology class in the junior college
made goo-goo eyes at us
as if we were lovers
 
Ms. Honeywell was well-named
with limbs bare and golden
Tiffany’s were thin and pale
and lacked muscle tone
I wished that Ms. Honeywell was still in my class
so I could grade her down on her essays
 
Once Tiffany and I were done applying her lipstick
I always examined her face closely
then made her look into the small
blurry mirror on the lipstick display
 
I wished that the manufacturer had provided
a better one—
Tiffany had suffered enough distortion 
 Ms. Honeywell kept watching us

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Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over nine hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net for work published in 2012, 2013, and 2014. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. He lives in Denver.

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