Purple ribbon, entwined in blond locks,
auburn braids, in hair dark,
the rumor is I am the color of hidden flesh,
blood red and blue.
I compromise the heart.
Liver-colored leaving the lungs,
not the livery brick of mining towns,
love’s liver; blue returning, starved, thin as mountain air.
I negotiate, locate
breath and murmuring: maroon or purple,
puerperal death in child-bed fever,
baby, heart hole, riddled,
not dead girl,
suffocating girl, asphyxiate,
with a throaty voice.
Close your eyes.
The color there,