Red

In posting, I realized I had not posted anything from a collection of poems that I wrote over the course of two years. The collection started with an epic poem, “The Birth of Thunder,” which is probably one of the longest poems I’ve ever written (probably will never see this site), but the poems in the collection really marked a transition as they were written over a certain period of time (no older pieces) and I really began to challenge myself on various types of poems, how they were placed on the page, the content and/or subject matter is probably the least narrative. I would love to tell you what inspired this poem, but I have no idea except when I was younger my mom would always say, “Where red it brings out your eyes.” Throughout the years, I found myself with lots of red clothes. I would even say it’s my favorite color now, so I guess this piece is an homage to my favorite color in the spectrum.

Red

Red is
the color of sky as the lion lets out it’s roar and
Red is
the color of crabs in the market alley
filled with aberrant fruits, many of them marked Red in some way.
Red finds itself
in fragments across this continent,
in the hands of women who have slit their wrists
and the bandages placed on the wounds to contain
The Red.

On Christmas, mother climbs the stairs
and finds a tree decorated in Red lights.
The girl wades into the sea in a red gown
looking back at her lover, saying ‘come out, come out, wherever you are?”
She is speaking with a
Red tongue.

Two distinct bloodlines still run Red.

Red was
the color of the shallow river in Vietnam
his best friend floated away in as he was
Seething Red.

Red was
the color of the thrown ashtray, the broken lamp, the sloe gin fizz
that soothed the hard pumping Red blood as the Red valentine heart was shred.

To decipher if there is an infection we ask,
“Is it Red?”

We stayed at the Red Roof Inn
The night I told you how I slept in a flag of Red, white, and blue
for months in college because America was bleeding a Red patriotism
in those months when the terror warnings would flash at the bottom of the CNN screen reading
RED.

When Dorthy got to Oz, she laid in a field of Red poppies against a summer sky
and when she got home sick, she clicked the Ruby Red slippers
and was transported back to the Red hills of Kansas.

Russia introduced the Red Star.
In reality, Red stars are Red Giants.
A red dying star
is a dying star in the last stages of stellar evolution.

Back in the Paleolithic age, it was black, white, and Red
that were the first colors used to paint.
When Matisse painted Red Studio,
he used color and its flattened perspective to alter our perception of reality and space.

In the summer, we wait for the tomatoes to go Red
to know they are ripe.
Red can
be savage, it can seduce, it can be transforming,
and somehow
it is the same color used to describe
a romantic stain of wine
and a bloodstain.

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