Describe “red” without using the word.

This post is a response to one which I shall not link to but which was in my opinion more saccharine and anodyne than the exercise warranted. 

Blood. It is blood. Fresh blood. The kind that comes
from your nose after it’s been kicked or punched or
filled with too much cocaine. Not the dirty old
leftovers of your womb, not the sad, sluggish,
suffocated stuff crawling in your veins back to the
lung for their fix of air. New blood. Clean blood.
Bursting with life and love blood, the spray of the
artery and the streak of the pin-pricked finger tip.
The knowledge that you have lived because you can
feel life leaving you. The blood of your winter-
branch capillaries: the blood that fades to pink in
the whites of your eyes. The blood in your mouth
when you kiss too hard but can’t stop. The blood on
the broken glass of mirror before it dries.
Haemoglobin. Oxygenated iron. An emulsion of
nutrients. The living oil of a machine too complex,
delicate, and astounding to be reproduced except
with mere animal fucking. The blood of a frightened
child’s first proper fall. Blood.


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