Wednesday Poem

Red Stands Out

Think of the tropisms of hyacinth blooms
canted toward morning in Florida. Think

of slouching pole barns in August in Ohio.
Think of the terrain of exhausted summer

and certain varieties of Rome apple, rust—
the seasonally blistered hands of laborers.

Think of a pair of male cardinals preening
in shade, safe from the blur of knife-blades.

Think of ribboned trees marked for clearing
and the lipstick shivers of crimson brushfires.

Think of blood come to absolve the world
of its chief sin: loving all the wrong things.

Think of neural flarings in the cranial dark
mapped as signature moments on an MRI.

Red stands out. Who can trust bland white
when purity has fallen so far out of fashion?

And blue: so inseparable from sky as to be
ceded to the celestial clockwork of the literal.

Think of red as a definition of transcendence:
that intemperate slit-skirt she made magnificent

teaching you to tango in a bar in Buenos Aires,
the aria of her lies as sweet as won money.

by Roy Bently

from Magnolia, Oct. 20, 2009