Shades of Sapphic

Image of Long Story Short Award - 2022
Image of Poetry
"And yet what purple hours one can snatch from that grey,
slowly-moving thing we call Time!" – Oscar Wilde

My mother always told me
that love was a vibrant red,
the color of our beating hearts,
the hue of the blood we shed.

"Men love a woman in red," she would say
while applying scarlet to her lips,
the magazine on woman's desire
giving her these fruitful tips.

Red roses, red cheeks, red heart-shaped boxes,
they all invoked this romantic feeling;
though to me the world was slate
and the void of color left me reeling.

"Is something wrong with me? Am I broken?"
The thoughts refused to leave my head.
"Is this life? Is existence this desolate?"
All because I couldn't see the color red.

In a fit of loneliness I always found
myself reaching out to the shadows
letting their colorless figures
play parts in the performance I compose.

With time the monochrome would blur,
the waxen permanence had taken its toll;
until a trace of purple in the evening sky
took hold of my wearied soul.

The vast grey welkin that stretched above
had become streaked with purple hues
that glistened amorously in the setting sun –
a radiant amethyst muse.

Entranced with the painted heavens
I stood still with my head turned high
unaware of the oblivious phantoms
continuing to pass me by.

A girl stands beside me,
her presence differing from the rest;
her gentle lips curled in understanding
of the butterflies aflutter in my chest.

"You see it too," I whisper,
words blooming from my lips like flowers
as I acknowledge the first entity
with whom I will share these purple hours.

Violets and lavender, orchids and lilac,
their blossoms emerge from my skin with care
as I pluck a violet from its stem
and tuck it neatly within her hair.

Nestled in this meadow of mauve
matched only by the plum skies above,
I come to finally realize
that red is not the only color of love.