Poppy Seed
The Blue Scarf
 

Pale, with the blue of high zeniths, shimmered over with silver, brocaded
In smooth, running patterns, a soft stuff, with dark knotted fringes,
    it lies there,
Warm from a woman's soft shoulders, and my fingers close on it, caressing.
Where is she, the woman who wore it? The scent of her lingers and drugs me!
A languor, fire-shotted, runs through me, and I crush the scarf down
    on my face,
And gulp in the warmth and the blueness, and my eyes swim
    in cool-tinted heavens.
Around me are columns of marble, and a diapered, sun-flickered pavement.
Rose-leaves blow and patter against it. Below the stone steps a lute tinkles.
A jar of green jade throws its shadow half over the floor. A big-bellied
Frog hops through the sunlight and plops in the gold-bubbled water of a basin,
Sunk in the black and white marble. The west wind has lifted a scarf
On the seat close beside me, the blue of it is a violent outrage of colour.
She draws it more closely about her, and it ripples beneath
    her slight stirring.
Her kisses are sharp buds of fire; and I burn back against her, a jewel
Hard and white; a stalked, flaming flower; till I break to
    a handful of cinders,
And open my eyes to the scarf, shining blue in the afternoon sunshine.

How loud clocks can tick when a room is empty, and one is alone!