Four Darks In Red

Janine Joseph

Bad body is a hemorrhaging Rothko.

It drags like a laundry sack smearing

its unshowered oils across the wood floor.

Down the hall, bad body takes a break

like a bone. It balances its head

with a throbbing. Bad body complains

even the wind hurts. See how its hairs

rise when you get too close —

you are a zap of static. Bad body is so

negative. Bad body won’t get dressed.

It stands in the open hallway

refusing to lift its arms for the shirt.

Refuses to lift its legs for the shorts.

Bad body says maybe tomorrow.

Bad body says can’t you see I’m fatigued

in red and redder and black camouflage.

Bad body says don’t move, just listen,

just stop, wait a second, give me

a second. Bad body swells a bad grenade

brain, now cupping its ears from the ringing,

the ringing, the ringing.

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