When the light is right
her pretty curly hair looks red
like the darkest melted color of a sunset
or twined tree branches, free and wild,
growing down her shoulders dark
like chocolate cherry ivy.
We go places together
slip into hazes of Thursday night bars
with loud old bands
dance in the changing lights and
her curls bounce and twirl in time.
When she shakes her head at me
with a small smile
the curls fall quietly down
like waves of rain breaking
from a heavy cloudy sky
and when we swim laughing
in blue oceans of Carolina
the curls surround her like seaweed
into salty reflections of sun
quietly fashioning night.