Sarah A. Chavez – Four Hours After You Died

Sarah A. Chavez

Four Hours After You Died

I dyed my hair purple. 
I would have done it
anyway, but maybe
less methodical, with
music and dancing under
the line of bare bulbs
in the bathroom of this
house you didn’t get 
the chance to step in. 

I dyed my hair purple,
our shared favorite color.
Each rinsed strand glints
violet after drying.
You’d think it was too dark.
I think it looks lonely—

I look for purple 
nail polish, pulling out
cheek brushes never used
and cotton swabs and combs
from the cabinet under
the sink. I find it, swipe 
hastily at fingers and toes (I’ve
never been good at 

That looks unfinished too,
So I find purple socks
with skull heads on the ankles.
Then a purple blouse 
you gave me from your
vieja closet, when all
the clothes you loved
started to hang loose
from the bones of your
shoulders. The print,
palm-sized plum flowers 
with gold trim and pollen 
centers. Something is

incomplete still. I dig out
mauve pants. A lavender
jacket. I’m so cold it’s 
as if I were naked. I
crawl into the linen closet
for that lilac embroidered
blanket from the flea market,
find it and wrap myself
as if that could melt 
the winter in my bones, 
like the color might absorb me, 
like if I cover my face, the 
whole of me will 
become an organic purple
phosphorescent beacon
glowing glowing glowing
so bright my violet-shaded
cocoon might be visible 
from space (from heaven?)
and you’d be able to see 
clear the warm sadness 
your leaving left. 

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