Mario taught us to worship azul,
Spanish azure of beloveds’ eyes,
in his Latin American poetry class
the semester I fell in love twenty times
with nary a kiss. Azul,
a word with hips, blue of pool water,
June, where years earlier my lover had splashed
beneath woodpecker racket,
startling me soaked from daydream.
We lazed the unattended hours,
slipped indoors. Azul that dusked
and lapped in light wind
when he hoisted the window to sprint
to Rite Aid for Trojans
and minutes later hoisted again, huffing.
We were fourteen, fucking
like adults after too much whisky,
and I didn’t yet have a word for that color
the pool kept secret at night,
azul of midday sun. But at twenty
azul whispered from earrings, hairclips,
nail polish, irises. I searched
surf and sky
for the color with which I’d baptize
a would-be lover if only she’d invite me in.
I didn’t yet know the years
would again alchemize air
with your name, which I’ve sewn
into my tongue. You with the rail-strong
arms, you of the long airport hug
under unnamable cumulus-flustered blue,
you said once that new friendship
is like an addition onto your house—
more rooms to attend, live in,
dust, make love in, more rooms to furnish
and heat. What do you do with those rooms now?
Do you read the poems I left stacked,
sip the dust-coated Dewar’s? Do you dream
against cool tile, remember how we’d agonize
the particular colors of our days, pinpointing
exact hue? Oh unlock my windows
already, before night comes. Paint my door there azul.
Darla Himeles is a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet whose poems have recently appeared in Women's Review of Books
, Pittsburgh Poetry Review
WomenArts Quarterly Journal
, and New Ohio Review
. She holds an AB in English
from Bryn Mawr College and an MFA in poetry and poetry in translation from Drew University.
An assistant editor at The Stillwater Review
, Darla is currently pursuing a PhD in American Literature at Temple University.
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