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Biography of Red

So many bodies crammed together in such a small space
The hub of the stern of the boat overflowing with small bent twisted shapes
Overheating dehydration
Constant rocking of the wooden flanks
They wrap the child in a bundle of clothing
For the blankets were the first to deteriorate
When the water became scarce the younger ones stood hauling
Ceramic bowls up with long thick ropes
The texture of the rope as a horses muzzle both soft and
Biting as the hands, tiny hands bend on knee
The skin covered in salt, hair of white stiff salt
Smell of vomit, yellow salt sea water

The word such is taught in a small official room
By a person who was not of this language
So the students sit mouthing the word such
There mouths opening gasping the sound that comes out of their throats
They do not have that word in their homeland.

So many bodies crammed in such a small space
On the 12rh day the babies started to die
Even as they dipped their fingers into the water flasks
And traced the line of the lips over and over
Drawing lips on finger tips engraved to remember
When they wrap the child in a bundle of sea starched clothing
They grab the head and the foot and walk to the far end of the boat
One, this looks like a game, two, this looks like a game
Three whoosh the bundle in the air swing as a hammock
Flying over small space then big wave drop
Into the moving ocean.

First foot on land and the candy is pink
Here the packages are right to left
There they are left to right
Here they too came on boats a long long time ago
So long they do not remember what it was like
Now here, close, they remember the fear of
The sharks.

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refugee, sharks

“To bread I do not ask to teach me
but only not to lack during every day of life.
I don’t know anything about light, from where
it comes nor where it goes,
I only want the light to light up,
I do not ask to the night
I wait for it and it envelops me,
And so you, bread and light
And shadow are”

Pablo Neruda

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  • butchart
    butchartalmost 6 years ago

    i’m so glad to see this featured on the main writing page… congratulations…… it’s brilliant writing…………b

  • burntblue
    burntbluealmost 6 years ago

    fantastic. my god. so powerful.
    looking forward to reading more and more from you.
    wonderful and deftly written.

  • Lisa  Jewell
    Lisa Jewellalmost 6 years ago

    Exceptional writing……this piece really grabbed me by the throat…

  • S .
    S .almost 6 years ago

    is right

    no doubt
    you have a lot of talent

    keep writing

  • Steven  Sandner
    Steven Sandneralmost 6 years ago

    Brilliant work, I love the emotionally charged writing!

  • Pipple
    Pipplealmost 6 years ago

    Congrats…and much deserved.

  • Skip Ward
    Skip Wardalmost 6 years ago

    I read your piece on desiring honest and useful criticism. I thought, okay, good idea, I can do that. But I can’t when my only thought after reading this was…I wish I had written this.

  • thanks

    – BiographyofRed8

  • Cassey
    Casseyalmost 6 years ago

    You’re brilliant. Congrats on the featured page. Proud and love you much!

  • awe coming from an artist I admire so much that makes me feel all warm and glowing.. love you so much cass!

    – BiographyofRed8

  • MistressZombie
    MistressZombiealmost 6 years ago

    This is so full of emotion! Amazing work Red one.

  • linaji
    linajiover 5 years ago

    Wow what lives reside inside this Red. sacrifice and terror. But land ho ..still you landed and are here to tell.
    You know your poetry is always over my head. I am as literal in a sense as they come, yet I learn from you to take chances that perhaps I shall use the boat as my body and the sea as the journey and the land as my now.. but then again.. it could just be me Red.. feeling the feelings of what makes up any good verse… you can do that sure.

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