On the 12:15 to Town Hall
I watch with interest as she smooths
pearl primer in circular motion
two fingertips over the line
of her cheekbones and neck
till you can no longer tell
where the youthful dew of her skin ends
and the magic of make-up begins.
from the belly of her cosmetic pouch
assorted tools fly like wands –
spoolie brushes sculpt the arch
of her already perfect eye brows
blush and rouge in berry shades
liners, mascaras, synthetic lashes
finishing off with a succulent peach
creaming over her lips.
the sun on my face, I nod off
oblivious to the thunder clouds
billowing over the harbour
heavens cleaving without mercy
as the young woman alights
and runs, pelted by downpour
the paint on her face melting
jewel toned rivulets
down her neck and décolletage.
I wake kicking the seat in front
to the chagrin of the man on it
she is still on the train, compact in hand
spritzing a rosewater mist
the sun a blister in the hot tin sky.
Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is a Sydney artist, poet and improv pianist. She holds a Masters Degree in English and is a former teacher. Her artworks and accompanying poetry have been exhibited in Kuwait, India and Singapore, and she also regularly performs her poetry and exhibits her artworks in Sydney. She is a member of Sydney’s North Shore Poetry Project and Authora Australis, and has published her poetry in various print and online art and literary journals in Australia, Canada, the US and UK. More about Oormila and her poems can be found here and here.