Little Red CapRebecca Loudon
She wears a fur hat with dog ears, string tied under her chin, carries cake (German Chocolate) and wine in a basket to the rain forest to harvest chanterelles. She hunts them in loam, blue split veins running up the ridged undersides. Her family thinks she's lost, even with a map, careful instructions to speak quietly, legs crossed at the ankles, arms inside the car at all times. They don't trust her though she's hunted this forest with nothing but a paring knife and a bottle of red since she was nine years old. She meets her lover near the tide charts. He, too, wears fur- on chest, belly, chin. Fur white as the run of an egg, white as the skin inside her wrist, white as sheet music. He leads her off the path to a stump sheared by chain-lightning, pokes through her basket, tastes her cake, upends the wine bottle, talks about Jesus, earthquakes in Algiers, rubs the fur on her head, strokes the velvet ears. She fingers the knife in her back pocket, too polite to take the first slice.
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