in that all rainbows are not molded with the same Hands
at birth, mama dips calloused fingers into pigmented rouge and smears it onto fresh, sweaty flesh. searing hot red, for the deep tones of blood and the unborn, on your sticky forehead. (wash it off, just like your sins.) when you grow up, you know, you will do the same to your child.
at the corner bodega, $1 pops and flesh-colored caramel candies are bought to, perhaps, attract a girl your age. on days where pavement is like hot coals on your toes, you rush inside the air-conditioned store with pennies and childlike pride. sticky plastic wrappers tossed, you maneuver the hard gem between sore teeth and try to pronounce the cashier's name. deng chi ni, he says. dumb chinese, your classmates say.
a birthchild of pink and red, it blushes like the cheeks of a boy and girl on a hot summer night on the pier. she stretches hot pink bubblegum between glossy lips. sticky popsicle juice smears Van Gogh abstracts on tingling flesh, and you sigh with wonder. after all, what more does a teenager dream of besides coming of age?
from second grade art, you recall (primary, secondary, ternary) and smushed fingerprint paintings. ka-lei-de-scope. in blurred tunnels you are transported back to whimsical memories. did i live this? for your broken ties, you finger loosened friendship bracelets and $2 hair chalk: you smear away tears and find remnants of ghosts that were never there.
for the lost we will mourn, and mourning is enough;
we simply must live.
for the coming of age aesthetic everybody wants and ALSO who else remembers those metal racks you put your art on in second grade art class and those black smocks. UGH simple days