If we could tear color from our sight,
would we see more clearly?
Would it correct the wrongs?
Relieve us of our prejudices?
Pullovers be based upon
speed or suspicion,
our vision shades of gray.
We’d stroke our slate skin,
bleed gunmetal gray, breathe feathered smoke,
live inside concrete,
wander gardens made of ash.
No more cardinals or bluejays.
Rainbows could be drawn in pencil and
the shavings could be used to scathe our eyes
should a rose dare to bloom a dewy red.
Or an azalea leaked magenta, leaving us speechless,
carving holes of longing in us we didn’t know we had,
before the punctured canvas repaired —
our memories erased of a beauty we were unfit to bestow.
Back to our smokestack camps, lined in hazy sandstone and soiled snow
to view only shades that blind and bind.
Where would the filaments of green and the breath of blue go?
To Oz, where roads stay carved in golden bricks, next to fields of
red poppies leading to an emerald city,
while we remain in the tornado of black and white?
Would poets no longer bleed pale moonlight and shades of day?
Or dream in color, exhaling violet laughter in crimson corners,
until we regain our humanity,
until we appreciate the glory of our differences,
place judgment upon our character and actions,
understanding we bleed one color,
to remain truly
When will we be worthy of living in color?
-S. S. Hicks