In the Pink

Big pinks filled the sky this morning.

I was drawn to this gaudy heaven’s breath.

Big pinks have always followed me, or perhaps

I have chased them down from when I was a boy


visiting my grandmother’s house, looking for color

in her flower patch, asking for handfuls of her

dandelions, roses and gladiolas to take home with me

as I stole the little color left to her. Before my wedding


my wife took me through Macys to pick china.

I chose the plates with the pink flowers I couldn’t name,

and my wife laughed at me, told all my friends

about my choice; even I laughed at my compulsion


toward pink. It happened again when my daughter

came pink and red out of the cut in my wife

howling with her purple tongue; later

I worshipped her new skin, clean and pink.


Obscene mandevilla flowers now blaze a trail

of pink Christmas lights around my front door; maybe

it’s some kind of sexual thing — their stamens

and pistols inviting me to play hummingbird;


Edna Pontellier in Chopin’s The Awakening

thought of the big pinks as she descended nude

to her death at the sea’s floor. Had Chopin

written another chapter, Edna would have risen


pink and alive, on a shell encrusted with pink

sea-stars, rising into the stars that cloud

the universe with pink gasses, pink nebulas,

into God’s red heart, striving to begin life again.


by Paul Totah


Leave a Reply