Purple puts on the squeeze.
Purple is tart and narrow.
Tyrant purple goes straight for the heart,
crazy for dawn.
Jesus’s passion is purple and white,
very close to joy.
Purple is tart, it will ripen.
Purple is handsome and I like him.
Yellow likes him.
The sky purples morning and evening,
a red rose growing older.
I gallop after purple,
a sad memory, a four o’clock flower.
I round up love to turn me purple with passion,
I who choose and am chosen.


Praise for a Color

Yellow infers from itself papayas and their pulp,
penetrable yellow.
At noon: bees, sweet stinger and honey.
Whole eggs and their nucleus, the ovum.
This interior thing, miniscule.
From the blackness of the blind viscera,
hot and yellow, the miniscule speck,
the luminous grain.
Yellow spreads and smooths, a downpour
of the pure light of its name,
Yellow turns on, turns up the heat,
a charmed flute,
an oboe in Bach.
Yellow engenders.

—translated from the Portuguese by Ellen Watson