This Kind of Red: A story in Solstice

This short story, originally published in Best African American Fiction 2009, has now been reprinted in Solstice:

There’s the red of the bricks of our building, growing up.  There’s red and yellow trees way out there in the distance, it being October, so they say, it’s all the same to me.  And there’s the sun, coming up and going down red, though I can’t see neither from my cell.  And purple-red, like communion wine.  Dark, but letting you see almost through.
And there’s blood, which they say is blue inside you and only red when it hits the air.  It comes each month, or used to anyways, mocking with the reminder that you can still make life.  But the good things.  The good things.  There’s the red of fresh tomatoes, pulling heavy on the vine, and the meat of strawberries bitten through.
I remember a cardinal I saw once, from the corner of my eye.  Pay attention, Avis, it seemed to whisper, this can happen, this kind of red.  It was gone so fast, and the flash of it, so surprising, so beautiful, it kind of hurt.

Read the whole story here.

Helen Elaine Lee