the color of art and self-love

in my art class, this color soiled itself, through the way it crawled from the

ignorance of people with fair skin. like

the teacher, spewing phrases like “drab,” “ugly,” and

“dirty.” later, when i turned to the dictionary i


misread them as synonyms of brown,

stacked like logs atop logs. they were the root words of

my life, drab-ugly-dirty, stinkbug vocabulary that

i believed


to describe the freckles on my tan knees, and the fur on my dog

and the mulch that clung onto us both when

we ran through the neighborhood, destination everywhere,

until we phased through some wall to face a society where


brown was a bitter speck of language describing

the particles of sand flying off my heels towards a tawny ocean, whisked

away into honeywater and brine, to be swallowed by tidal vastness. brown,

something that i thought would dissolve, like memories,

like summer into autumn.


but, instead, brown would return to me one day as

crests rippling back onto the coastline of what i would learn: that

brown was the color wheel swirled into one;

all the shades of the universe, the union of paint and earth and history.


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