Red

Lisa Fraser

I can’t stop
my face from burning:
bandana-red, catbirth-red,
Chinese-red, cardinal.
(Not because of a virus or a fever,
not for the witness of a miracle,
a throat full of pepper or
a piece of food caught.)
A flush of astonishment thrust up my jaw:
blood
beet
brick.
Sanguine spread of heat blooms
in every cerebral fold
and all this for a simple offer—
warmth
like gingerbread
to a woodcutter’s daughter.