Rubies for Dorthea Lasky

by Caroline Crew

There is red and there is grace
and I cannot fall into both.
I tried to taste grace
in the calm tones of an Atlantic map
but it takes too much will
to fall into an ocean. Is a document
still a map if there is only a single
line? It is still salt water.
Salt water might blind you
with certain promises but it won’t
get you drunk with real thrill
or show you anyone’s insides.
You think a tidal wave is real
power? It probably took
a million small insects to dye
an emperor’s robe and it
isn’t how we treat our equals
but those smaller that counts.
That the ocean isn’t red
is not another reason to keep
a gun in the house. It is not
a reason to struggle to read on
without coffee. I know grace
is not a man, really I do,
nor is it the word husband
anywhere on my body.
I know grace to be twisting
the most fierce likeness
of a kiss. To make
the colour-blind boy
weep red.


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