The Curiosity of Redness by Ruth Stacey

Peel a human and they are red inside:

the skin is a thin covering, shades

of brown; from light yellow to warm

umber but they can all be distilled

to crimson, scarlet, vermillion, rose.


I know this as we have taken many

of the ape-like creatures and stripped

them down to the bones; ground them

to dust to try and understand the hate

and tender love they all vacillate with.


We have no feelings, only curiosity,

that is the word humans use –  I have

read their dictionaries and oil paint

charts, pondered on their destruction

and pointless cycles of war: it all


comes back to redness: a blood womb

delivers each one to the earth, ruby

splashed bodies, the surprising cut, veins

pour cadmium dark red onto tarmac

or sand. I observe their relentless desire


to disassemble one another… and yet

I must try to understand earthlings.

Understanding comes with replicating.

Their hunger for all things red, to spill

and get right down to the burgundy flesh.

4 thoughts on “The Curiosity of Redness by Ruth Stacey

  1. Pingback: The Curiosity of Redness by Ruth Stacey | Ruth Stacey poet

  2. An astonishing poem of power and poignancy. This is the standard of war poetry that gets me very excited and this deserves attention. Beautifully written Ruth.


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