Photo: Quarry, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, Big Island, Hawaii

How I Came to Know the Color Beige

I bought a sweater that was

like snow in the department store

but, on me, it was sand.

I worked with a pasty woman

who refused to wear makeup

to hide her insomnia.

I lived in a small apartment

with someone I couldn’t love

for half of my young life.

I kissed a man who drank

gallons of coffee; his breath

was stained, too, like the sky

above the crowded city, where

by 4th grade, I realized the crayon

named “flesh” meant the world

is mean.

*The prompt was simply to start with a color (you could pull a crayon out of a box randomly; you could even have one of those giant boxes of crayons with even more colors).


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