Painting by Lola Donoghue
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I’ve been thinking of red since you left,
and I never thought I’d learn to hate a colour.
But that Thursday night was drenched in it,
like neon fruit sap dripping down the lens
of a muted and shaking camera.
Cerise veins in your eyes,
claret bruises on the left ventricle
of our hearts. The door you walked out of
had a red Exit sign glowing like
a live and pulsing organism.
I think of red all the time now,
in its spectrum of shades.
I crushed a sprig of Indian paintbrush
underfoot yesterday, I washed
pomegranate juice off my hands.
When my science teacher
showed us a picture of Mars,
I had to hide my shaking hands
under the desk.