Poetry 2011 / Volume 42

Photography: Silhouettes and Grays — Stefani Wright

In the dark no colors can exist,
only silhouettes. It’s true,
the cones in your eyes that produce
the infinite mixtures of reds, blues, greens, yellows
in order to create periwinkles, sea foam greens, scarlets, tickle me pinks
are blinded by the lack of light bouncing in, through and on.

Only black can be seen, and the countless shades of gray.
But instead of names, example the reds:
crimson, maroon, lava, sienna, candy apple, sangria, rose
we label them only with numbers:
Value One-White. Value Ten-Black
and everything in between.

So as my once caramel hand glides obliviously across
the no longer cream ceiling all I see are the grays.
Hand Value-Six. Ceiling-Three.
The chipped charcoal nail polish jumps between eight and nine
and the shadows continue to forever be what they are- shadows, a ten.

Even if I close my eyes to enter my mind painted with
coral, amber, flame, terra cotta, sapphire, myrtle,
jade, olive, lilac, eggplant, copper, when I open my
eyes it’ll all return to gray.

And I’ll like here and count every shade
until dawn brings the color again.

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