Art by Kristen Lohman

Written by Keyandra Brisco

I met him walking in Baltimore.  


In a burgundy Ford Escort,

a light skinned black man with cornrows,

introduced himself.  

I called two weeks later.

I didn’t want him to think I was into him,

but I was.

Red was hot!

That year, I came to Baltimore for a Master’s Program.

After class, I would see Red every Tuesday night.

I wanted to see him all the time.

I was falling,








                    in love.

Red and I decided to live together.

This was the first time I was going to live with a man,

my anxiety was catastrophic;







My Red



Red and I were different, though.

He was from the Baltimore area;

I a small town on the Eastern Shore.

He worked overnight;

I went to school during the day.  

He never showed interest in my school,  

said things like “yea college girl. You are so smart. You go to college. You’re so smart.”

It was condescending


I felt inadequate,


I invited Red to my graduation,

he told me he was tired, needed sleep.

I was heartbroken, yearned for him to come,

but I yielded.

When I arrived home that day,

he was awake on the couch


about his great gym session.




D E V A S T A T E D. 

The most important day of my life,

He skipped–

to do something he does on a daily basis.

This relationship:


My first

How could I ever fully give my heart

to a man

who belittled my aspirations?



Keyandra R. Brisco was born and raised in Cambridge, MD. While in college, Keyandra began to w rite as a form of therapy. Primarily writing poetry, Keyandra continues to express herself through written word.

As a full-time career, Keyandra is a clinical social worker working and residing in the Baltimore area with youth in foster care. Keyandra enjoys reading, a good Martini or Bloody Mary, laughter and some great 90s music.

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