Red

Red was always my colour.
Since my lifetime ago, living in rooms in shades of stone and blue.
Now crimson melds with my hazel complexion and seems demure
But if you look closely, it creates a Hollywood allure.
Allure that makes my cherry lips pout and draw lovers into my arms
Only for me to spew them out to give others a turn.
My painted nails claw for power;
While my burgundy dresses cling onto my curves; screaming for favour.
But deafening is my hair whose autumn hues leave mouths bare;
Speechless.

Red has always been my favourite colour.
With you, it was the butterfly kisses beneath the soft morning light
And the insatiable lip-locking while watching the moon rise.
It was our intensely intimate dinners on our polished wooden floors,
And the countless hours spent on the couch watching superheroes.
But that was before you stole from me.
You stole my happiness.

Red is still my favourite colour.
But I don’t like it smeared and splattered on our bathroom floor,
Nor on my face or my off white slip that I just bought from Victoria.
It doesn’t complement the skin on your knuckles which have been kneading my ruby cheek.
Instead, red and your tan shoes complement each other;
On them, no one would guess our secrets save for bloody prints.
Red makes the vision in my bloodshot eye clearer
So with all the strength I can muster,
I say, “Did you know red is my favourite colour?”

Unhearing, you pour murky rum into a glass and raise it to your lips.
I wonder if your fears that mark my body drown in the drink…
Then a tremblerockets through my legs as I struggle to get onto my feet.
Scarlet drops roll down the shard of broken mirror in my hand
And my unsteady legs follow the same trail that my eyes have paved to your back.
Lips, still swollen, crack open to reveal a bloody mess;can you tell I’m missing a tooth again?
You said it only happened that one time; but I’m in pain.
Still, a smile creeps up my cheek and lights up my good eye.
Did you know that red has always been my colour?
Well tonight, I guess you’ll find out why.

By
Loice Kerubo
Alumnus