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