The Night I Went Colorblind

Juniper always requires
an after-dinner cocktail
with her cigarette. It’s become
a ritual— me handing her
a sweating glass and simultaneously
lighting her Camel Turkish Gold.
Tonight, her lips part to form words
as big as continents but all I see
is the smoke dripping
from her lipstick. Then,
her imprint on the glass.
The vermilion shade reminds me
of the time I walked in on her
with a man named Jason
on our couch. Her cognac hair tangled
by the necklace her grandmother left
her and Jason’s upper body
covered in unnatural red.
But tonight her eyes are gunpowder
and her legs only spell my name. She croons
a sappy song about how I’m the only violet
she’s known, chest pressing into mine.
Her grandmother’s necklace dangling
down the side of my breast.
Suddenly, the vivid colors drain.
We’re two shades of grey
on a couch in Seymour.
Our apartment becomes
too small and her face
develops wrinkles. And it stops
mattering to me if his name
is Jason or Thomas or Alex.

Luci Brown's chapbook, Home Brew, was released by Finishing Line Press in 2015. Her work has appeared in journals such as Moon City Review, Rogue Agent, wherewithal, and others. She is a 2012 recipient of the Margaret Artley Woodruff prize as well as a Pushcart prize nominee. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Tennessee as well as managing editor for Stirring: A Literary Collection and a reader for the Best of the Net anthology. She lives in Knoxville, TN with her fellow poet partner, two crazy dogs, and soon-to-be son.