Henna as it fades doesn’t look pretty
the depth of colour washes out too pale
maybe these hands can’t hold their complexity -
designs that bleach out and colours that fail.
I’ll recite the words this time too, dry-eyed,
knowing that no colour lasts on any palm;
whatever the motifs scrolled, slurries applied,
however high petals travel up the arm.
Rare the symbol that can match shade for shade
the real thing; and rare, my love, this love that
you bear for me, too intricate to be made
a fluid dark green paste in cones and piped pat
into peacock feathers. And no colours standfor my love too, no symbols, nothing in hand.
Love the traditions of henna; dislike marital symbols that only women are supposed to wear. I know, I am conflicted like that :)