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Alternative Colors for Queer

a color poem

By Noel QuiñonesPublished 2 years ago 2 min read
Winner of True Colors Challenge

Salsa is better with two people

but I spend so much time in corners

I’ve forgotten her fingers like inchworms

massaging wings from the color Beige. A concept

we’ve tried to rename for decades,

a foil for colors with more character.

Everything is only as vibrant

as what surrounds it, a pot of Ginger

tea, her hand, a garden of plastic Saffron

dahlias, the word Saffron. When she pushed me

toward the stage, I judged my hips,

my Cobalt torso, my illusory ass, my strut

but I strutted because I’ve always strutted.

In front of Macy’s mirrors, underneath

the Mahogany spotlight of a bunkbed,

in the background of legs, I practiced

so many colors—He is wordless,

his hands invite twins, we hover our fingers

in front of each other and giggle

at the invisible color, the destined friction

of drawing a straight line from the past to the present.

When sunflowers can’t find the sun, they turn

toward each other, what is the color for that?

How do I signal you with Lead feathers in a hurricane?

We’ve never seen a Black hole. I yearn to be a biodome and yet…

she wonders if he is the reason. I ended it,

as if a single attraction could outweigh my own becoming.

I scoff a sudden Aubergine sky, the reversal of shade,

don’t you think I’ve prayed to be a streetlight

or a palm tree? For that kind of ease. I am an iguaca

perched high enough that every color

you see is light-tensed, so many alternatives

before ever reaching you, this is the line I will draw.

But that isn’t good enough. Every color I’ve been

I am. A Jade plant moving in the corner

of a window’s Isabelline hue, as if leaping.

I wonder the Forest Green of your recognition,

its muscular soil, piling and piling and piling

and still never dying.

I hunt for the egg of color,

I dig out its wings, I develop a taste.

surreal poetry

About the Creator

Noel Quiñones

Noel Quiñones is a Puerto Rican writer from the Bronx. He has featured at Lincoln Center & Harvard University and been published in POETRY & the Latin American Review. He is a current MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Mississippi

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