Red Skies

The young sailor said he would give me a modicum of love if I let him use my body as a harbor. He slept in the space between my shoulder and neck. Time folded around us like a thick blanket. The tender sky purpled like a plum. A red juice trickled down. I felt a lily bloom in my throat, soft white petals all clotted together—this is why I could not speak. He told me about giant squid, beautiful women with the tails of fish, whirlpools that could consume an entire ship. He called himself a man of the sea, as if the sea would have him. In the distance, the waves laughed as I curled my hand around his wrist, pulse-hunting. I had a suspicion that the sailor would always love the sky more than he could ever love a person. The sea ate the moon. Stars dropped off like flies. Messages in bottles came ashore. I had sent them all. They all said the same thing: Eat him before he drowns you.

About the author

Kimberly Ramos (they / she) is a queer, Filipina writer from Missouri. They are currently an undergraduate of philosophy and creative writing at Truman State University.…

Read the full bio

Issue 24 · Autumn 2021

Table of contents