red. my mother’s favorite color and also
the color of her short and sponge-like hair.
red is the color that reminds us of a beating heart that can be found
underneath layers of skin and bone.
it represents a love and passion that we have for each other, yet
it signifies the idea of hell. as i speak its name,
i can feel the warmth from the
bustling flames, which seem to be showing me
no mercy as i cry out to the heavens above for forgiveness.
orange. a pungent smell combined with
the soury-sweet taste of a clementine and sticky fingers.
it is a vision of my grandfather on his deathbed replying “orange”
to my cousin and i after we asked him what his favorite color was.
the memory constantly looping in my head just like
a song on repeat that you can’t stop listening to because it is just that good.
only this time, the song is a sad distorted memory. the lyrics consisting
of the last conversation we had before he began to circle the drain.
yellow. dancing in an open field primarily of wildflowers
while sunshine is beaming down on you and your rosy pink cheeks.
the pale yellow and grainy sand
that sticks to your feet after getting splashed with warm salt water. the same sand
that you and i walked on when we first met, that serves
as a constant and painful reminder
that there is no way i can ever fall in love again after you.
green. dewy grass fields swarmed with mosquitos and gnats, each blade of grass
varying in shape and texture.
but it is the color of lettuce, broccoli, and peas.
it is the color of acceptable calories that have been
ingrained into my mind, along with the
ultimatums i have created for myself:
“every meal you eat adds an extra mile. if you fail, you don’t eat tomorrow.”
green is what i could have, but it always came
with multiple restless nights due to the hunger
that echoed in what seems to be a pit of despair housed within me.
blue. just like the ocean. i can hear the waves crashing
and taste the salt that seems to linger in the air.
there’s the calming and familiar breeze, and finally,
i can breathe. it is my escape. yet this is also
where i received the call that you had fallen.
a five-hour car ride home awaited me so that we could say
our goodbyes. so i could hold your hand as you took your last breath.
i remember watching the light fade out of your eyes
as you closed them for the last time. it is when i began
to understand the meaning
of a forget-me-not flower and its vibrant blue color.
i will not forget you.
indigo. the color of the crayon
you’d accidentally pick up when trying to color a body of water in elementary school.
i can smell the waxy and childish scent of a crayon within the word itself. this is also
the color of the sky every night when i look out of my window.
it is an invitation to my loneliness, a warning to me
that another long night seems to be calling my name.
violet. a character in the incredibles who has the ability to disappear,
just like you did to me when i was just two years old.
i remember you, but you forgot about me.
violet is the color of the alzheimer’s awareness ribbon. it is the color
reminding me of an ache in my heart
that came with many lessons i can never unlearn.
the foul smell of your nursing home
and the velvety carpet that filled the halls. violet
sounds just like your tired and weary voice.
finally, there is black. black is the color
of pen ink and the pentagons that surround the outside of a soccer ball.
it is the color of death and sadness. the color
of the weights on my shoulders and a reminder to me
of my constant mourning and self-pity. but
i feel most comfortable here, sulking within its walls.
it is a painful sense of nostalgia. it is a constant reminder
of the battle that is happening within me
and its ever changing outcomes.
it reminds me of my strength and gives me dignity.
if you touch it, it feels proud and accomplished.
it will show me my journey and how far i have come.
and most importantly, it tells me to keep going.
and sometimes, that’s all you need to hear.