Red. It is the passionate bonding of a love stronger than blood. It’s kisses dipped in red, a sensation of warmth against familiar lips (such a sacred form of addiction). Red, so loud and almost deafening—it begs to be heard. Hot to the touch and eager to burn. The electric feel of her skin crawls within you. You close your eyes tight, all you see is red.
But what fearsome forms it can take. As she takes the anger in her voice to cut you right between the longing for her body and the fractures in your heart. The grief leaves bruises one by one like seconds ticking on a clock. She had left you with such reckless abandon, and the echoes of her footsteps are a crimson pounding in your head.
Loss inhales you as if you were one of her cigarettes. The bud burning bright like red. The smoke rising hot like the hurt in your heart after she left. You let it keep going up, hoping that maybe she’ll see it like signal. As the only signal that red has ever meant.
She did leave the memories behind. They still carve an unbearable ache into your mind. Her words a clear vibrato beneath tears, “it is a punishment for your sins, which are going to take you straight to hell.” Which is believed to be red. You figured falling in love was a parallel to what she said.
You committed to something fatal. What you had was a gorgeous rose, enticing to watch but a bitch to hold. Thorns threatening but still she begged you for the betrayal. This tragic affair was only ever a good idea because you loved danger. So much more than you loved her, and now the regret you feel is red.
You knew that passion was a stronger bond than blood. That’s why you didn’t want family. That’s why the only thing she ever birthed was a grudge. Now you hear her name and anxiety bites at you with wrath like red. With fingers dripping red, with ledgers filled with red. A blaring sign of drowning debt. Do you taste her poison in your coffee cup? Is that what keeps you up? Is it still red? Because when death calls and you close your eyes for the last time, the ghost of you is waiting. It is dressed in red.
“C’est en Rouge”, a free verse piece written by Kyara Villegas.