Titian, ginger, russet, carrot-top,
Strawberry, copper, auburn, henna, red;
Out of the drab world those bright colors pop,
Unrivaled hues that ever graced a head.
Beneath those flaming tresses freckles spill
Along the neck and down the shoulders white;
A milky way in negative, I thrill
To kiss each dusky star in that pale night.
But how can tender skin remain so smooth
When dazzling fires blaze so close at hand?
And though there is no answer, I approve
Of multiple attempts to understand.
And over time I hope that I have earned
The splendid privilege of being burned.