Afterlife in the Color of Stigmata
I am cochineal, a silvery queen,
wingless on flattened pads of prickly pear.
Motionless, mistaken for a tick
or an engorged seed. I weave fine
netting between spines like shimmering
white tents for miniature weddings,
for my thousands of children.
In my body, I carry color:
Pomegranate, maroon, magenta.
My afterlife in red: Shawl,
tapestry, flamenco skirt, bullfighter’s
cape, fez. I am pigment
for Frida’s blood, her umbilical cords,
for Rembrandt’s painted saints.