He hung two paintings, side by side, and swore that they did not mean what everybody knew. One was of himself; the other of his lover. They were outlined images on grounds of newspaper headlines, coming in and out of focus, reaching in and out of time and news in print.

He reached across the canvas in blue, moving to hurl his weighty situation from about his neck. She sat in virginal white, eyes closed, with only her face in rose.

Things are not always the way they appear.

Her headlines told of hurricanes and twenty killed in Raleigh; his of victims and recovery in the aftermath of the storm. Her stories were a world of violence. His dreamed of a new rebirth.

When his lover stared at them she did not blink.

When I did he saw the truth.

He hung his two paintings side by side, a perfect couple, and whenever anyone asked he swore they did not mean what everyone -- except for one, or maybe two -- already knew. She snuggled a little bit closer as he denied when she wasn’t listening.

In the meantime we all watched with eyes like daggers, waiting for the storm to recede.

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