Liz Robbins

the hospital St. Vincent's with its white background
sign, red cross stamped inside and inside all
baby-pink skin, infant-like innocence, but hers
hot magenta, like adult dominance, powered,
exhausting: the inside of figs before they dry,
teeming action, the burn of a candle, weaver working
a tapestry for love, the harp's pluck—pink, the color
of skin, humans respond to it naturally, color of lips kissed,
candy hearts: on men pink an upturned collar or plea
 for release, a vanishing bird past singing on a bough
 in Greenwich Village, a vow gone stale, limbs brittle—
hard and beautiful to be a woman and idle and not,
ghosts fogging up panes when it rains and too close
is Gauguin in getting native women to pose,
o, the pink in Nave, Nave Moe, a thistle in
the waistband and too a drifting spar—poor
the woman half-feminine then, almost nothing
 worse, till she mixes lightning bolts
with sand, molds them into glass (verse)—





For a rollicking good read, I recommend Nancy Milford's Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, as well as Millay's Collected.