Upon Reading Your Poem “Red”
by Leah Stenson


That autumn in New York
I was reading Ancient Evenings
and life was saturated
with the color of the season.

It was the scarlet skirt that got me in trouble
and the foliage falling down all around us.
The wine at dinner, the color of rubies,
and the warm, dim light made us rosy
in that cozy little bistro. The strains of
Tchaikovsky made me crazy with desire.

On the way home, we stopped to embrace
against the night chill and admire the moon.
When I said the wind was caressing me,
you whispered you were jealous.

Before we could even take our coats off
in the overheated apartment,
you pressed me against the wall
and kissed me under the golden ankh.
I offered you hibiscus tea but when
we stepped into the kitchen we fell down,
like maple leaves swept around the floor,
tossed by stormy winds of passion.

Across the Harbor, lights gleamed
and glittered like stars. Liberty
celebrated with her torch aloft.






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