At first, the speaker mentions how pleased she is with the color used to upholster her sofa. She compares it to the shade of farmhouse shutters she remembers seeing in a book about George Seurat’s life. Here, he looked out into the countryside and watched his mistress wander the field, capturing a moth in her hand. Later the speaker reflects on that scene and how Seurat must have painted them in the gold light of evening. They would have been “grains of matter and light/ vibrating with a wistful poise.”
She then wonders if that color did not choose her when she entered the store and saw it draped over a mannequin. Maybe, she sighs that essence of blue was fated to define her own, emotional composition ( grains of breath, memory and mood) as well as those details regarding the last place she dined with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, their last meeting was poignant. She knew he was becoming disinterested in their relationship. She felt his gaze and passion drifting south with the swallows, retreating to a place where the weather stayed “mostly young and hot” as well as the women in that climate. And with that realization, she could not bear to touch his shoulder and attempt to regain his attention. Unlike Seurat’s mistress, she did not confine the winged spirit, she relinquished her grip.