Red

red

I go to bed
with a hot water bottle;
I am thinking of rivers,
the trickle of mountain snows,
the word turgid.

I think: open.
I think: flow.

I am sitting, a damned river;
nothing is red anywhere.
The way I know these words
can dry up in the middle of the page
is the way I know my body
can stem secrets
hold them to itself.

The pain in both these things
is equal, is pressure;
makes me grit my teeth,
think: flow.

In the dream
people throw fresh eggs at me;
they break against
my chest, my
outstretched hands.

Originally published in papercut., the University of Pittsburgh’s Undergraduate literary magazine, fall 1998.
Image credit: len4foto

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