In the Sky, They Are Lineless by Sara McGuirk

(after Ronaldo V. Wilson)

I say: Crayola & you think color
(Association) & I wonder how much
We associate with color—tie to—attribute,
Collect (like bottlecaps in our knapsacks),
Throw at other kids at recess on the playground-grid-iron

& I consider
Color-coding, color-creaming, crinkling colored letters into
The words our children drag in
(Doorstep-dead-birds) with their dirty soap-tongue—
Words encoded by color

Case in point, in pointed pigment:
They had a color they called flesh (until 1962),
& guess
Just which shade it was,
(Just what peachy—perky & deserving shade)
Its snowflakes unstained by freckles even,
A complexion so fair—so in(politically)correct—
It’s nothing “personal,” just how they conduct their
Business

Then; in 1999,
They made a collector’s set: Crayolas infused with glitter
& I’m thinking: which
Abusive name would we use to shame the boy
Who kept those (secret) in his knapsack
—If he showed us—if he drew (unclothed) the most magnificent
Of masculine mermaidens,
(The most shameless we’ve ever seen) on this liquid, spectral, limitless beach—
How; would we snap him into wax-bit pieces?
Infringe upon his glittered drawing,
(This drifting masterpiece we
Should—instead—be flaunting
On every Mommy’s bone-bleach fridge)?
So; I want you to do just this &:
Bloom in living color—Oz it all—
Inside-outside-in (what lines?)
Let’s crack-crumble our crayons,
Our bodiless children’s finger-painted handprints
Un-white-washed by the pitiless, pesky,
Branded (brand-name) flesh (our Fisher-Priced pound of flesh),
Yelling (loud as living, lip-leavening color),
Left untouch-untortured by the name on a sliver of my color-glove,
My uncovered sleeve—no—
Color; me in love
& lovely in it all at once—a muddy gray, a grain
Of the whole col-igraphy                    (The language of the rainbow)
A (child playing with a)
Kaleidoscope                                      Wonders

At why we bother naming others—at all


Sara McGuirk is an incoming poet at the Iowa City Writer’s Workshop this year. She graduated from The University of Notre Dame with concentrations in English and Film Production. She perceives poetry as a montage of images and emotions directed by the music of language itself.

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