Various and Sundry Poetry

that red

Let me be the one to see it first,
fresh out of the shower, hair still plastered
on your neck, the one to watch the slip
of the towel, the walk across the bedroom in bare feet,
the one who sees you pause before the open closet,
rifle through the obvious safe choices, the softer cottons, the knee-lengths,
the carefully belted and collared, the PTA dresses, which no one
would discuss under their breath, which the grocery clerks have seen you in
on late-afternoon runs for ice cream, the ones something has been dropped
or wiped on, a pearl of chocolate chip, a dim trickle of mud from picking up the mess
in the front yard, a fuzz of irreversible rust from the faucet in the guest bathroom.
Let me be the one, casual, unnoticed, as you comb fingertips through color
and distraction and habit and land on that red, and pause and consider and do that
slow turn inside, the giddy question you already know the answer to.
Let me see you saying that kind of yes, that kind of dress, that first brush
of fabric against your collarbone, the unfolding past torso, past hip,
past history, past I'm-not-the-kind-of-person-who-
and let me be the one to see you pirouette in front of the full-
length mirror to birth a microscopic joy on your lips that blooms and blooms
until the room spins with it, and I, too, spinning, falling into that red and that you
who is that red. You are that red. You are
that red.