love 22: lips

i fell in love with my lips. again.
my lips and i have a torrid, on again, off again relationship. when i was younger i wasn’t aware of any sexual connotation with having “big” lips. i didn’t know i had big lips at all. i thought my lips were normal. whatever normal was.
then puberty hit, and the boys in my class noticed my lips, probably in reference to their ability to massage their newly awakened phalli. probably because i didn’t really connect the dots between girls and boys and preteen flirting. probably because boys are boys, and they pick on girls and some girls enjoyed the awkward nuances of preteen flirting. i did not. i thought i was abnormal. wrong. and i hated my lips.
then i used my lips to create music. and their fullness helped me to create a beautiful sound that i didn’t know could emanate from any part of me. the boys and girls still called me “horse lips” and then later “lips”. i hated my lips. but i loved what they could do with my instrument.
i mentioned this because one day, i was putting balm on my lips because they were chapped and i caught the reflection of those lips with freshly applied balm and thought, those things are beautiful. so i decided to paint someone beautiful, with beautiful lips and call her love 22 because, ya know, outkast. i stare at her sometimes, her lips in the shape of a figurative heart. beautiful and brown with big red lips. fully accepting of herself always and in all ways.

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