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Colors Passing Through Us

Written by: Marge Piercy | Biography
 | Quotes (4) |
 Purple as tulips in May, mauve 
into lush velvet, purple 
as the stain blackberries leave 
on the lips, on the hands, 
the purple of ripe grapes 
sunlit and warm as flesh. 
Every day I will give you a color, 
like a new flower in a bud vase 
on your desk. Every day 
I will paint you, as women 
color each other with henna 
on hands and on feet. 

Red as henna, as cinnamon, 
as coals after the fire is banked, 
the cardinal in the feeder, 
the roses tumbling on the arbor 
their weight bending the wood 
the red of the syrup I make from petals. 

Orange as the perfumed fruit 
hanging their globes on the glossy tree, 
orange as pumpkins in the field, 
orange as butterflyweed and the monarchs 
who come to eat it, orange as my 
cat running lithe through the high grass. 

Yellow as a goat's wise and wicked eyes, 
yellow as a hill of daffodils, 
yellow as dandelions by the highway, 
yellow as butter and egg yolks, 
yellow as a school bus stopping you, 
yellow as a slicker in a downpour. 

Here is my bouquet, here is a sing 
song of all the things you make 
me think of, here is oblique 
praise for the height and depth 
of you and the width too. 
Here is my box of new crayons at your feet. 

Green as mint jelly, green 
as a frog on a lily pad twanging, 
the green of cos lettuce upright 
about to bolt into opulent towers, 
green as Grand Chartreuse in a clear 
glass, green as wine bottles. 

Blue as cornflowers, delphiniums, 
bachelors' buttons. Blue as Roquefort, 
blue as Saga. Blue as still water. 
Blue as the eyes of a Siamese cat. 
Blue as shadows on new snow, as a spring 
azure sipping from a puddle on the blacktop. 

Cobalt as the midnight sky 
when day has gone without a trace 
and we lie in each other's arms 
eyes shut and fingers open 
and all the colors of the world 
pass through our bodies like strings of fire.



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