Today's poem is by Lori Lamothe

Absence of Red

A carpet of shoes
unrolls at the bottom of the stairs.

It's as if the beach is the kind of religion
that demands its rituals:

the walk across yellow coals,
comfort dropped at the door of blue.

Which I guess is why, when you
see the warning signs—

waves colliding from both sides,
risk crashing into risk—

it seems like everybody's chanting
a dialect of lost passwords.

At the edge of distance, two guys
toss a football back and forth

and kids on boogie boards
float so far past the sound of their names

you can't believe they'll ever
swim in safety again.

Once you stood on a darkened street,
trashed on bravado.

When your life skidded into headlights
and a screech of tires

the boy behind the wheel
leaned his head out the window

and asked you to breakfast.
That's not what you want now

but sometimes you listen for it anyways—
the heart beating a reprieve,

the sudden absence of red.

Copyright © 2016 Lori Lamothe All rights reserved
from Happily
Aldrich Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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