Issue #54


Primarily, Colors

Primarily, Colors

Sydney Amos

There was one that was navy blue because it made sense.

His voice was dark water and he was as mobile and restless as it , too . He covered me in white cap

waves that felt exhilarating until my head was under for too long. His blueness was ice water , but

burned like a gasoline fire. I was kindled with maybes and perhapses; with white capped waves and

oceans of potential. I got lost in his sea because the blue was too dark , the water too deep. I couldn’t

tell which way I was going.

When I found land, I wanted nothing to do with it. I stood neck deep in ocean water, eyes closed,

facing the vastness. I circumnavigated the shoreline, blindly turning a hundred and eighty degrees.

It was this way that I spiraled inwards; each lap pulled me closer to earth till I felt my tucked-up

toes slam against the sand I had spent months avoiding.

And it was better this way , admittedly . I always was a lousy swimmer. Yet still, every glimpse I got

of him, the water, called toward me with a siren’s power. It insisted I return to the blueness one

could mistake for darkness; insisted I dive head first, only to be met with cold , wet concrete.

Until I did dive in, and found that I had grown so accustomed to solid footing that the ocean out

there meant little to me. And what’s more, I had collided with Red.

Red wasn’t stop-sign red, carmine red, or blood red like you might expect, but rather a deep

maroon. And Red didn’t do any burning-- at least not at first. Red came out of nowhere , a collision

of fire and earth , and me. Where Blue was silky smooth, Red was rough and rigid. Where Blue was a

rushing , mobile body of everywhere all at once, Red was stone.

His bed became an altar, where I made confession after confession to a glowing constellation, stuck

inside on a ceiling but glowing nonetheless. I was whisked to my time with Blue, floating on my

back with the entire universe spread out above me. Thinking it was different, I reached up and up,

ignoring the inevitable outcome.

Because wasn’t it different? Red had built me out of ivory keys , and I had built him out of nylon

strings. What’s more, we had built each other out of vinyl: vinyl floors, vinyl records. We had

thrown our bones at each other’s feet and whispered, “ fix it, ” but after a moment’s pause his please

sounded like a formality and mine sounded like desperation.

But wasn’t it different? Because I had needed water, and when I looked out at it now , it floated on

without regard for what it had lost. Because water is elusive , and when you plunge inside, it carves a

path for you by darting away, only barely brushing your skin. It was different because Red was

warm and made sense.

But Red is inescapable. It surrounds you from all sides . It comes closer and closer , and you think

you’re getting warmer , when it’s really just a slow, inevitable, eventual burn. But one similarity still

remains intact:

The kindling, made of maybes.

So I suppose that’s it, then. Blue, there and then gone; Red, there and then gone. Does that make me

the keystone, yellow? Or a dull purple? Is the missing piece something within me or outside me?

My symbolism, my colors, my cracked armor. Where do we go from here?

The Collection