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Posts tagged ‘flesh and bone’

All the Colors of White


Consider all the colors of white, all that they imply

When other colors lean against them

A palette of wan issue like cream, ivory, ecru, bisque

The bolder hues of palest yellow, peach, or pink

Even shadow tones like dove gray and taupe

Each creating a new color, a new impression, a new ground

For casting the primary chroma, blue, green, or red

Making the bold stance ever more aggressive


Most people are as well, white

No matter what ethnic ancestry or shade their skin –

Bronze, mahogany, coal, pink, amber, steel, parchment,

Copper, rust, porcelain, tawny – all skin is the same white

All people host the same flesh, lurid red inside

Blue veins and damp bones

Yet each of us pale as a new moon

Bleached shells, dried sticks, or wheat chaff


We blanch at the power of the man in black, woman in red

We quail at the flash of emerald eyes, blaze of orange hair

Colors of tyrants graven on our skin, flayed by their

Power to make us quail and cringe, beg mercy, plead for

Peace from their attacks and swords, accusations and whips.

We fear the brightness of their teeth, the sheen of their lips,

Their veins pulsing, eyes bulging, mouth frothing

And the vivid color of their skin


When really they are also only white and transparent at that

Peel back your skin. I’ve already peeled mine.

Beneath the rind we are the same, pared and frail

Ashen and brittle, bloody and burning, gasping for breath

For reprieve from the power stolen from me by virtue of your

Skin that is nothing more than a bold liar and damn thief

You have no more color than I

We are just one – and white


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