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Showing posts from August, 2017


You have always known red
by its closeness:

you know it in the pinprick
of salmonberry thorn, and the drip of blood
that hugs your fingertip,

the fruit’s sweetness embracing
your tongue, and your tongue itself
an embrace of your mouth, your teeth,
your syllables and sounds.

You only speak red with a clenched throat.

You swallow red on the mesa,
wrapped in its midday swelter, where the heat
curls up in your nostrils, and it
folds around your lungs

and you have heard it screamed,
heard it sung, heard it shaking
in the shell of your ear. When red returns

it tastes like rust, something
you have always known: seal of water
between your palms,

and God’s fingers, light
as a mourning dove’s wing, resting
against your cheek.