Issue > Poetry
Christine DeSimone

Christine DeSimone

Christine DeSimone is a fourth-generation Californian and an attorney in San Francisco. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Evansville Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Zyzzyva, Pearl and many other journals. Her first full-length collection, How Long the Night Is, will be released by Lummox Press in 2013.

Prometheus

There is no word for "blue" in any classical Greek text,
because once Columbine was just a flower,
resembling a circle of doves. One soggy April
when we linked elbows along the Seine, the hydrangeas
bent together in the breeze. I myself cannot describe the sun
and am often incapable of love. Yet you brought me fire,
you looped your scarf around my neck and it was still alive
from yours. Your gifts were signed in three tongues.
Words for colors appeared in our languages
in this order: black, white, red, green, yellow. So this is
our history: Before the flames, the drunk nights drank
too much, plucked unwanted hair from their faces.
We walked in white weather that we'll never speak of again.
According to a French study, waitresses who wear
red lipstick make more tips, and after the rain, everything
was green: the mother's reunion, the promise of light.
When I turn away, I forget what yellow is, says the old woman,
tending her garden, who is beginning to disappear.
I've not yet been to Greece. I imagine
the Aegean a sweep of blue cream, but before the spoon,
I had no mouth to explain. At the festival of Dionysus
I swallowed some lake-washed cobalt stones.
Who knows what god I will encounter when you go.

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