Color of the Universe

The universe is really beige. Get used to it.

John Noble Wilford
The New York Times

For Richard

I can’t believe the universe is tan,
Not red or green or lavender or blue.
I feel carnelian when you take my hand—

Not beige like lima beans from a can,
But a splendid, electrifying hue.
I can’t believe the universe is tan.

Rose and gold are what I understand
When I think of waking up each day with you.
I feel carnelian when I take your hand,

And like the universe my love expands,
Surrounding us with turquoise and chartreuse.
Can you believe the universe is tan,

A color desolate as lunar sand
And homely as a peanut or cashew?
I feel carnelian when we’re hand in hand,

Listening to Perahia play Chopin.
The stars all turn cerulean on cue.
I don’t care if the universe is tan:
I feel carnelian as you take my hand.

— Lucille Lang Day

From The Curvature of Blue,
first published in Blue Unicorn