He was just a film professor I fell in love with, in the days of Super 8 and nights
of hand splicing millimeters.

We always ended up, talking for hours and drinking coffee in a 24 hour diner,
where I would sketch ideas on the back of cheap paper place mats,
as he sat, outlined in red, as if his edges were on fire.

Mostly his wild pass-the-salt-and-pepper please hair.

To distract myself, I'd say order some home fries and for God's sake,
eat them with ketchup.

There was no beer. We were drunk on life.

At the time, it was enough.

One by one, the old red neon letters burned out. He stopped drinking coffee.

And I watched him eat the best blueberry pie,
in flickers of passing car and truck headlights,
almost like frames of film footage, agonizing in the lack of red.