Red

So… This is a prose poem I wrote the other day and I wanted to share it. It’s titled “red.”

Studies show that people fall in love most often when wearing red. They all claim that the color red does something to our partner’s brain that makes him (or her) more receptive to feelings of love. Is that really true? Maybe the color red does something to our brains that makes us feel more worthy of love. Maybe red is just a color we all think we look good in so we choose the vibrant color for situations where falling in love is already on the agenda. Or, maybe, we have been told so often and so loudly that red is a color of seduction and passion and we so desperately want to believe it that we make it true. Of course, if you wear red every day you will be wearing it on the day you fall in love.

Like all things, red has its dark side. We close our eyes and picture roses and blushing cheeks, all in a glittering pink hue. Then we see blood dripping from clean finger tips. We picture rage; heart thumping in our ears, blood burning our neck. Red has no place in the middle ground. It is always burning and hot, always violent and bold. Never tempered. Burning. Illumating every corner of our soul. Maybe we want to see love the way the way we see glowing coals keeping a fire burning. 

The coldest part of the flame is red.

I wonder if people ever fall in love in blue. Or is that the kind of inextinguishable passion reserved only for fairy tale princesses? 

Cinderella wore blue to the ball. Would the prince have scoured the kingdom for her had she been wearing red?

I wonder if we are afraid to fall in love in blue, a color that reminds us of the fathomless depths of the ocean, the untraceable heights of the sky. The greatest and most terrible powers we can imagine are blue. Blue is the depths of the sea, the heights of the sky, the streak of lightning, the hottest flame. Blue is the love we do not understand and do not dare to hope for for fear of drowning. Or for fear of never finding it at all. Fear of spending our lives standing in the beach waiting for the tide to sweep us away but the waves never reach us. We settle for red and pretend Cinderella is only a fairy tale.

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