In the days after there was much talk of precious minerals, of rare stones. Our hearts went from being rubies to emeralds, a slow transmutation we did not notice until the blood ran dry. In those days the palette was more limited, the reactions predictable. I looked you up on a Thursday afternoon and we glowed green together, cut off our heels and tossed them in the furnace. I held you close in a way that reminded us of physical strength. My body was a cash machine, my mouth spouting silver coins, my feet trailing gold to pave the way to your apartment. Your roommate was not home that night, was never home, did not live with you. Your roommate was a giraffe you had seen roaming the streets one night and claimed for your own. Each time you saw her you grew a little rustier, the revelation of secret desire, so long hidden, slowing your step. You would summon me by messenger and recite short stories in my ear, beg for oil, for maps, for airborne magic, and in return I would ask only for a warm red, for an onyx carapace falling away to reveal a shorn pink, for the courage to return home.