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.

Fox Boy Poem V by Ruth Stacey

the tick box
this is no dewey
decimal, no sense
to this, putting people
in boxes

bark like good dog

veer between refusing
and trying to be helpful

should be an easy task
pen on paper
down stroke and up
best describes: no no no
none of those
mixed is their phrase

mixed, other

Ruth Stacey studied English & Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and recently completed a distinction level MA in Literature: Politics and Identity at Worcester University. Her pamphlet Fox Boy was published by Dancing Girl Press, July 2014. Her full length debut collection, all the long gone queens, is being published by Eyewear, Summer 2015. She lives in Worcestershire.