Red

There are insects
ground up to give us
the red we call carmine,
the crimson of a lake
on fire at sunset. Touch
a tube of lipstick
to your mouth and know
that color is the color
of thousands of pulverized
bodies— scraped off
broad pans of cacti,
dried in the sun, nested
in tubes of paint: every-
where the eye might not
even detect a pulse.

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