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Red China. Mao's China.
Scratches and scrapes the face
of international peace.

Amnesty is not the same as peace,
just as red is not a sunrise.

Only in France is red "rouge".
Moulin Rouge, Khmer Rouge.
Sound the same, except the pain.

Pol Pot, Cambodia.
Who knew the stinking wounds
of young bodies, left unattended,
would flow like the Dead Sea?

My tongue parts your lips
like Moses did the Red Sea.

But you are not here.

Is this faith or fiction
that lets me believe
you will come back and
touch your mouth to mine?

I can still feel the slash
of your tongue,
like a fresh cut pomegranate.

Cleopatra's stained lips
have nothing
on your sun-soaked mouth,
wet with desire.

But you are gone.

Red rain rushes by my window
reminding me Jimmy's gone.
No purple haze.
S'cuze me while I kiss the sky.

Fresh cut flowers,
like fresh cut wounds,
leave a scent of decay.
Widow-makers on the increase.
Stealth bombers now obselete.

I hear the news,
"He died for his country ma'am.
You can be proud."

I raise my hand to my eyes
and all I feel is Red
pouring from the wound
in my head.

I see too much...
hear too much.


The silence builds a wall.
Now I can listen to their words...

"You can be proud.
He died for his country."

They repeat themselves
like a vagrant mantra
looking for a home.

I don't care what
country you saved!
I want your body back.

Your body. My body.
His broken body,
now a wafer in my mouth.
Dust to dust, ashes to ashes.

I step outside into the cold.
Mere clay in the Potter's hands.
Fresh clay in bare feet.

My white skin and scarlet toes
touch the black alluvial soil.
You are not here,
beneath this sailor's sky.

You are interned in some
God-forsaken Asian clay.
You will be buried
in China, Mao's China.

And I shall wear RED.

RED. Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. Poem by: Sandy Reimer.

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