She’s an artist, like a moth to the flame

I called her Red.

It was the color of her hair, it was the colour of her attitude, it was the color of my feelings for her.

She always said my name with a spanish accent. I always felt a little uneasy as I felt her voice get a bit higher as she pronounced the second syllable.

I met Red when we were in college. She was a Classics major, I was an English major. One night I went to the coffee house with some friends and she was there. The light seemed to attach to her and get lazy. I experienced the same.

She chided me for having a major that was my second language. I extrapolated on how the greek gods would have rolled their eyes at her. She didn’t laugh either.

She was wearing a leather skirt that night; it etched her thighs like a sculptor may have wished to. I pretended not to notice.

That first night she looked down at her boots.

“These are my fuck-me boots.”


“Don’t they just scream that?”

They did. They ran up her calves without any air to breathe.

“They’re not bad. But who knows. They might be meant for walking.”

She didn’t even laugh.

“These fucking things are killing me,” she said as she sat and took them off. “You got a light?”

I reached into my coat for a lighter but couldn’t find it. I took out a book of matches, cradled the light between us.