The Color of Dark People in Dark Rooms

What do we see when we can't see at all?

The Color of Dark People in Dark Rooms

What color are dark skinned humans

black brown tan red

based on how they look when not in

dark rooms.

But there's no crayon to show shades of


Straining facial features when shame

digs nails like across chalkboards

(sounds like slurs)


the ugly color of

Defensive wounds


from too many fights not started

but forced to end


with hands behind backs for



and you laughcry because you want to tell the officer

you've been chained to your cradle since


So it'll have to be a hell of a lot tighter

Than that.


a wetness under the eyes somewhere between

Piss running down legs and

mother's tears

Because you just can't save them all

Purplegreen darkroom defensive wounds

You can't save them all

from the battles up against the walls,

Cornered animals

eyes wide

foamy mouthed

kicked dog appeals

That wrung throats whimpercry dry

You can't save them all


They can't save you either.

What color am I

When I lose my cool

cast composure to the curbstomp with

Passionprofanity laced spiked

(it's a bad trip brother)

with vitriol that scrapes my tongue

even as it leaves mouth raw like

chewing glass spitting blood

glimmering with obscenities directed toward high heaven

since the audience isn't listening

Oh lordy lordy just listen

To that glass twinkle

but the pain feels good,

a poor substitute

For the dignity I lost in the eyes of your



What color am I

In a dark room?

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Jose Juarez
Jose Juarez
Read next: Poem: New Life
Jose Juarez

I'm a poet, a philosopher, a dissident, a Native, a storyteller and a contemplative mess.

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