These are my mother’s lips. She is wearing a style of lipstick that she has been wearing for over 40 years, ever since I was a little girl. Her dark-outlined lips have become her trademark. This photo is charged with significance. Her painted lips are something that I wish to remember about her, but taking this picture was a challenge. To celebrate her 75th birthday, we went on a beach vacation. It was overcast, and we were passing time, hoping for the sun to break through the clouds. I had been looking at her lips for the past week and thought to myself, “It’s now or never.” I was deeply afraid to ask my mother to allow me to be so close to her with my camera. When the fear of not trying overwhelmed me, I made my request. Although she readily agreed, I was a bundle of nerves. Just like our relationship, these lips are loving yet complicated. She gave me a gift that day—her collaboration. Neither of us could anticipate what this photograph would look like in the end. My mother’s lips, forever mine.
featured in romka # 9, 2015