Ode to Unlocked Windows
Darla Himeles
  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 BooksPittsburgh Poetry ReviewWomenArts 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.


more by Darla Himeles:
Purple
Hushed