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When I Say My Favorite Color is Red

S. M. Beal

I mean the reddened cheeks after

racing through a snowstorm

to get a hazelnut latte

at the small coffee shop

that’s open just four hours a day

on Tuesdays and Fridays.

I mean the crimson nail polish

that glitters on my fingertips

and makes me feel like stardom

is perhaps not as far away

as it’s always seemed

and the blooming dahlias that peek

through the soil and decide to try

sprouting despite my enduring brown thumb.

I mean lipstick kisses and sweaty brows

and bloody tampons and spicy chilis

and Miami Heat and the scream of crowds

and worn roller coaster seats and hair dye

stains in the kitchen sink and his hoodie

and that blouse that

makes me feel sexy and

all the other reasons I

haven’t given up yet.

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