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Winter Color Palettes

by Anna Suarez

Red. The marinara sauce bubbling and boiling in the round pot, leaving splatters of my devotion across the stove. Lucienne Boyer’s "Parlez Moi D’Amour" makes love to the steam rising from the sauce. The redness spreads across the plate I make for you, when you come home from work. I watch the sauce leave its impressions in the blush across your cheeks—a pleasure from the fullness. We feel the warmth of domesticity when your fingers lift up your shirt I’m wearing, to find the red lace panties. I create little red treasures in our home, so you always find your way back to me.

Brown. The crushed leaves left on the floors, after visitors come and go, then swept away by the rough bristles of the broom. In bed, we have the rosy brown of the aureole, wrapped in kisses—the candied vessel shielding the soul. The brown shades of hair tangling together, like roots of all the maple trees under the earth’s soil. And, the brown skin fading into a winter olive...a Caribbean girl longing for the sun.

Rose. The rush of blood across the cheekbones, once we step into the winter’s cold and when I come with you. The wet labia and the pulsation of hope, that Eros will outlive God. The fingers, so rosy with the coming dawn, tracing circles around all of the bodies’ corridors underneath the comforter— winter’s romantic interior. Everything would turn rose under the comforter in the soft light. There is nothing I need to see in these moments—just feel eternality in the fingertips. I taste the sweet impressions of reverence that exist between permanence and impermanence.

Lilac. On the mornings when it doesn’t rain and the air is brisk, the sky blends pale pinks into a mass of lilac, with the birds flying against it. On the way to work, wearing the gloves you put in my bag, I imagine the warmth of you still sleeping. I imagine you pleasuring yourself when you wake up. I imagine all the lilacs you’ll leave on my butt, when I get home from work. You punish me, because you miss me so much.

Gold. The golden flames breaking through midnight, across the faces of sinners, which I find to be old friends, old lovers, memories of colors and touches. The priest utters "let there be light," with his fingers returning us to Him. Immersed in the priest’s holiness and the decadence of the Catholic Church, I prayed that my knees would never grow too weak for me to kneel. I would pray my soul would never be too weak to surrender. Then you ask why I wish to remain on my knees. I whisper in your ear, "that is because I love you."

Black. The dark lace peaking through my crépe dress at our anniversary dinner. Glamorous women sit all around us, with their lovers in their finest blacks. I watch your eyes move to my thigh, revealing the slip of the garter belt. I watch the men around me envision what is underneath their holy lady of worship’s dress. I watch them pour pinot noir—so red, almost black. They pour them the most expensive wine and whisper devotions, just to go home and see the black lace, to take their time slipping it off their bodies... days later, a friend’s black mascara brings little droplets across her face as she laments a failed return call. We wear black to mourn the death of passion, in a culture sick with aloofness. In a week, we wear all red and have hope again.

Ivory. Visions of the Christmas I drove through the sprawl with an ex lover—the twinkling of the lights on the houses and the opalescence of the moon all shining in their temporality, then fading into the gray shades at airport security. We knew the bright promises would turn gray, after the dreary waving hands, the tears looking into the gray skies from the cabin window. To be so young and convinced families would leave their Christmas lights up all year. That spring would never come. That birds never truly know a home.

Blue. The color of the sky right after sunset. Winter told me to keep fighting for you and that you will be home soon. In between gray, I found bright blues, lighting up the cold bedroom with hope. There was a church choir lamenting past the blue skies into the heavens, "come home, come to the light" and I persisted, waiting for the blue shades of your shirts, the blue tones in how you say "I love you," the blue bruises left on my thighs from your hands and the hope I’ll stand up facing the blue sky, with your cum pouring from me. Your blue bike you never stop building. That is the only home I could know.