What Women Learn About Blood

by Sara Moore Wagner

Sara Moore Wagner

Sometimes we make the rice red,
let the beef bleed red onto the china,
we paint the front door red, we wall
our elders brick by brick into the red
pillars holding up the front porch,
and there, arms up in red sweaters,
their bones become foundational,
the red dire is a red gorge we go into
bare shouldered & it seeps even
into our eyes, which look rusted
now & our mothers say honey,
you must be so tired of creating this
imaginary world, hoping you’ll see
yourself in it, see the grandmother
whose bones pickle in all that red
clay, as the lake, as the sunburn,
as the child underwater, cheeks puffed,
hair alive in a current, finger to a crevice
where the sunlight seems to reach,
as a color, as a fire color, as a light
color, as red as your lips when you first step
out in it, hair still wet, body still wet,
a memory of a boat, and a man with a tired
light all around him, dark around the eyes—
that smile that means something
is about to happen just between
the thighs.

Last updated September 19, 2022