Purple

  1. From the Phoenicians, they learned to extract
  2. the color from shells.
  3. When their dogs ate sea snails along the coast,
  4. their dog-teeth were dyed purple—that’s how the Phoenicians knew.
  5. To darken it,
  6. the Romans added black, which came from scorched wood,
  7. which abounded, one imagines, in an empire.