Colors passing through us

Original Text: 
© Marge Piercy. Southern California Anthology 16   (Fall 1999)
1Purple as tulips in May, mauve
2into lush velvet, purple
3as the stain blackberries leave
4on the lips, on the hands,
5the purple of ripe grapes
6sunlit and warm as flesh.
7Every day I will give you a color,
8like a new flower in a bud vase
9on your desk. Every day
10I will paint you, as women
11color each other with henna
12on hands and on feet.
13Red as henna, as cinnamon,
14as coals after the fire is banked,
15the cardinal in the feeder,
16the roses tumbling on the arbor
17their weight bending the wood
18the red of the syrup I make from petals.
19Orange as the perfumed fruit
20hanging their globes on the glossy tree,
21orange as pumpkins in the field,
22orange as butterflyweed and the monarchs
23who come to eat it, orange as my
24cat running lithe through the high grass.
25Yellow as a goat's wise and wicked eyes,
26yellow as a hill of daffodils,
27yellow as dandelions by the highway,
28yellow as butter and egg yolks,
29yellow as a school bus stopping you,
30yellow as a slicker in a downpour.
31Here is my bouquet, here is a sing
32song of all the things you make
33me think of, here is oblique
34praise for the height and depth
35of you and the width too.
36Here is my box of new crayons at your feet.
37Green as mint jelly, green
38as a frog on a lily pad twanging,
40about to bolt into opulent towers,
41green as Grand Chartreuse in a clear
42glass, green as wine bottles.
43Blue as cornflowers, delphiniums,
46Blue as the eyes of a Siamese cat.
47Blue as shadows on new snow, as a spring
48azure sipping from a puddle on the blacktop.
49Cobalt as the midnight sky
50when day has gone without a trace
51and we lie in each other's arms
52eyes shut and fingers open
53and all the colors of the world
54pass through our bodies like strings of fire.
Copyright 1999 Marge Piercy Southern California Anthology


39] cos lettuce: named after Stanchio, now Cos, an island in the Aegean off Turkey. Back to Line
44] Roquefort: blue-streaked, pungent cheese at first made only at Roquefort in southwest France. Back to Line
45] Saga: soft, mellow double-cream cheese with blue veins. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Marge Piercy, Leapfrog Press or Knopf permissions department.</b>