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Blood Gone Red / Blood Song

By Dylan R. Ragas, Crimson Staff Writer

Blood Gone Red

In September there is an edge of things that returns. Yet you feel
the film lift, dissolve, like the clear liquid of an egg or
the shell, pulled back and discarded. You are no longer
the red goat, no longer unrecognizable to your mother,
you return home and your homecoming
is acknowledged. In God’s hot car, the windows slide
like the reel of an old projector, show you a New
Hampshire highway and let in some pine-spiked air.
Before life started you used to live in the Pennsylvania woods
and trace the veins of leaves onto scrap paper, you used to jump
from couch to futon in the yellow living room and sing
reggae, ignore the red at the intersection
near your grandmother’s house and feel shame
when your sister snitched you out. Now, when you reach
away from yourself, you don’t feel the embryo of yourself
but air, space, a puppet who has crossed some line, and now
you are alive, blood as red as the goat child, blood
as red as anyone else’s, and your skin may be wood and
your form like a chess piece but you can hurt people now.
You can move diagonally or forward, to the side. You can
wrap fairy lights around your neck like an awful necklace and it
will allure someone, they will follow you and translate things for you
that ought not be translated. You will forget about the letters you wrote,
the stamps you never bought. You will forget that people
aren’t puppets, that you could never utter those words, no, you
could never phrase it all quite right, could not send them
to the puppeteer. God’s hot car sails
along the northeast coast of a stolen land, streaked and
yellowing with light trails like dying fireflies. In your palm you press
fingernails into flesh, like a doctor who checks the pulses
of things.

Blood Song

I tell you I am Orpheus still Orpheus and you
the boy with the shovel in the sandbox who cannot dig—
I tell you there is land on the other side of land
you wrap your bleeding hands in wood and string when
I tell you vernacular covers up the figures
who stand like gods in front of stained glass and roll
common speech through red goat fur, a modern life-
blood that seeps in, a snake in dead grass and I
do not yet know how to use my mouth do not
hit me with the shovel just yet I have only just
learned how to convert pulse to air.
God's hot car rusts and sweats in a dusty lot.
The baby whines before it gets bloodied by the wolf but
you don’t have enough time to paint your collar pink.

—Dylan R. Ragas ’26’s column, “Yard Sale Organs,” is a collection of poems that attempt to make sense of a past — real, imagined, but mostly somewhere in between.

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