Red

RI know you, painter.
I know you want to touch me,
To peel me from the palette,
To draw me over your canvas.
To brush me into balanced space.
But do you know me?

You saw me first before the world.
Hue of phrase and proverb,
Never a shade faint of heart.
Take care of me.
I am victory. I am defeat.
And I am coloured certain.

I am the woman in that dress first seen
And always longed for, last forgotten.
I am full-dress swagger marching through a market town,
Life’s excitement flushed to giggling cheeks.
I am that thin still line that none may dare to break.
I am fury, fire, and I am danger.
I told in bold two hundred point
How and why and for just how much, they were so very wanted.

I flagged your comrades’ rights while flying high,
And marked down your boyhood wrongs.
I’ll carpet movie boulevards, I’ll smear smooth rouge on shocking nipple tips.
I will race Monaco shark-nose fast, I’ll wink and brake traffic in its tracks.
I am the eastern star, and Rab’s sweetest June sprung rose,
I am the western horizon of delight, and smiling fate, hesitant on Marylin’s lips.

Best cage me fast in solid bars of monkish black,
And fence my pulsing cloister small and tight.
For I’ll sound so loud and true above my weight,
My welling gravity will pull spiralling sore-eyed down
Reporting dive dive diving unbalanced crashing books,
Keel-hauled through desire’s depths towards my wicked lights of port.

Infra, I glow. Beneath I am a burning wave of heat.
I am everything they said and feared I was:
I am quickened life, strident lust, and every surgeon’s sudden fashion.
I am misting rage, I am your own sweet blood.
I am action, danger, tooth and claw,
I am ripe and raw and passion.

When you’ve almost lost the world, dearheart,
Trust your last of all to the square before you,
Hazard all you have on half a chance to win,
Let neither will nor purpose falter,
As the caller cries Faites vos jeux!
Risk fortune, fear, risk all hope and love:
As I was that helping stretchered cross, so I’ll be that steady altar.

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About stevedsmart

Steve Smart is an information designer, poet and artist. View all posts by stevedsmart

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