She would walk outside naked and let the greens and yellows fall on her, different colors depending on the weather – the air pressure, the heat, the damp all painted in different ways. The others that lived there kept their jewelry clear in diamond, crystal, and glass. Their clothing was filmy, transparent or cream. The plants and stones and creatures were all in shades of off-white and shadow. She lived there, feeding the rain to the beetles to vein their wings with greens and purples.
Hearing of a drought in the next town, she moved from her home to that other place. She brought little bottles and dropped reds into the open beaks of baby birds and painted yellows on lizard tails. She tapped on the shoulders of the pale-looking people with mouthfuls of pigment and slowly kissed them into violet or orange. One she met she didn’t want to stop kissing, and so she gave him colors until there were none left. He would return home each day with blood pulsing in blues and greens, eyes turned prismatic.
When it began to rain again, she stood outside and let it run over her body and drank it in until the rain poured clear, wanting to give him all of it. But holding all the world’s color was too much for one woman, and as it continued to rain she dropped to the ground and slowly came apart into a constellation of petal and amethyst and feather and mushroom and flush, covering the town in colors but making sure the water stayed clear so that he could still look out his window on rainy days and see her loving him.
[You can return to The Elizabeths this way.]