united front

Black is not the opposite of white;

It just has less in it.

As this is so, I deduce the color

within you.

Say I saw a yellow so yellow

it was green:

a burnished gold.

I mistook that for warmth.

But all metal is cold

until it burns.

A scald reads in the retina

as red.

So I saw red.

Red isn’t just a color,

as no colors are.

Red is a metaphor:

a symbol—

the angry line between

love and hate.


Red is the in-between

of binaries,

when the binary is

me and you.

Red is that warmth I saw,

and how I clam for the cold.

Bloodshed is red

when it routes out of the heart

and in through our veins.

Every breath of air

 –that invisible color—

feeds the red inside.

Red is a need,

a need to be.



What I cannot figure out

is which binary I am:

black or white?

And if they’re even colors.

If they are the lack of color,

binary begins anew.

Color versus not color.



It doesn’t take much to see

that it doesn’t matter

who is black;

who is white;

or whether there is red

between the two of us.




we are on the same side:

not color.


a war against something

we are not:


And may never be.


(i wrote this poem in the fall of 2010. my how it comes alive again. )


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