by Liam Robichaud
There is something about a red light
that seems to signal
some impending danger.
It has been programmed into our minds
to tell us to take action.
Unable to take any immediate action,
I sit waiting with a lead foot,
poised above the unassuming pedal,
eager for the light to change.
I am ten minutes late.
A bull may charge at a fluttering red cape,
but a human would not.
Red marks what we are to avoid.
I am stopped at the roadside staring
into an intense vista
of mountainscape with sunset backlighting.
Red lights mark radio towers,
warning pilots of a possible doom.
I am twenty minutes late.
Cities have for many years
marked with red lights
those parts of town
God-fearing people avoid,
for fear of corruption
by prostitutes and jazz musicians.
I arrive at the restaurant.
The sign outside casts a red light
on a fearless concrete sidewalk.
I am thirty minutes late.
The room is well lit.
Small tables scattered about may
from above form constellations.
She sits rapping her fingers
on an empty plate.
I nervously compliment the shade
of her red lipstick.