by Stevi Meredith

that was the color
of the wine she drank,
the sheets on her bed,
the bruise under her left eye
and sometimes her dreams.
when she wasn't battered
she was a pretty woman
with curly brown hair
and skin the color of
a ginger cake.
she cried at the slightest provocation
which was all the time,
so her eyes were very clear
and her mouth seemed always
to be in the shape of a kiss.
she was, even in her most bruised state,
beauty unaware of itself.
she liked to listen to music
late into the night.
it made the cheap wine taste better
and it sealed her thoughts
inside her head.
most of what she thought
she'd never talk about.
crazy thoughts about
inventing shit or
what life would have been like
if her mama hadn't left,
if her daddy hadn't stayed.
tonight she sat at her kitchen table
wearing a slip that had been
her grandmother's and drinking her wine
and listening to aretha franklin sing
dr. feelgood and ain't no way.
she lit a cagarette and sang along.
around midnight the lights
and the music went off.
shit, had she forgotten to pay
the electric bill?
who was she foolin'? she didn't forget.
she didn't have $32.19.
hell, she didn't have $2.19.
how the hell does a woman
with skills get in a situation like this?
anyway, she'd call her ex tomorrow
and get the lights turned back on.
she lit some candles and found
the little portable radio
she kept for earthquakes.
the lack of music was starting
to mess with her buzz.
she danced with herself to
some crazy tune that was playin'
on the white station.
'round two, with the candles
burned down
and the batteries in the radio dead,
she climbed between her purple sheets
and went to sleep.
tomorrow her bruise
would have faded to green
and green required a whole other energy.

Purple by Stevi Meredith

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

TimBookTu Logo

Return to the Table of Contents | Return to Main Page