After a long time quiet on the table you suddenly ask:
"what color am I tonight?" The question falls
like a weighted plume. It strikes, and I say,
"Oh! -- let me check" -- stalling for time -- but I know
I am bound to tell the truth: "you are purple,
deep purple. Very deep." I don't say "almost black."
You know. I'd mention the midnight sky or raven sheen,
but a lie that plain sticks in my throat:
I can invent a color, if I'm quick enough,
but I can't lie about one, once told.
"Not a usual color for you," is the best I can do.
As I pull your arm over your head, stretching the lats,
your hand comes to rest on my ribs: a touch
you sometimes allow yourself on nights
when you are purple, deep purple,