Colors Besides Black

There are some other colors besides black,
I once said upon my exit from the goths;
and yet, when all the world is shades of gray,
where people tend to seek polarities,
how many days are suited for pastels?

For secondary shades, one must be bold
and smile through every hopeful lie and fantasy:
the world is getting better, by and by,
and when you’ve grown up you will understand.

Let white, and even creams, remain reserved
for rituals and those observances required
when we admit collective lack of words
and make up answers to get through the feast.

But black is not just mourning and sackcloth;
it is a practical solution, after all.
When all our lives are spent here in the dark,
what better way to soldier through the days

than in a wardrobe blind men could still match,
and that requires no consciousness to pick.
Think not of grim and stern sobriety,
though these occasions can and do arise,

but of a silence suffering that stands
at the back of the room during the wake.
There are some other colors, it is true,
but none that hide as well as black tones do.

18 MAY 2017

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