Blue, but you are Rose, too, and buttermilk, but with blood dots showing through. A little salty your white nape boy-wide. Glinting hairs shoot back of your ears' Rose that tongues like to feel the maze of, slip into the funnel, tell a thunder-whisper to. When I kiss, your eyes' straight lashes down crisp go like doll's blond straws. Glazed iris Roses, your lids unclose to Blue-ringed targets, their dark sheen-spokes almost green. I sink in Blue- black Rose-heart holes until you blink. Pink lips, the serrate folds taste smooth, and Rosehip- round, the center bud I suck. I milknip your two Blue-skeined blown Rose beauties, too, to sniff their berries' blood, up stiff pink tips. You're white in patches, only mostly Rose, buckskin and saltly, speckled like a sky. I love your spots, your white neck, Rose, your hair's wild straw splash, silk spools for your ears. But where white spouts out, spills on your brow to clear eyepools, wheel shafts of light, Rose, you are Blue.
From Nature: Poems Old and New by May Swenson, published by Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © 1994 the Literary Estate of May Swenson. Used with permission.