Out of nowhere, you turn and ask me:
"What colour are my eyes?” And naturally my first thought is “Who doesn’t know what colour their eyes are? You’ve had them your whole life, don’t you own a mirror?
Or maybe you’re just secretly a vampire and don’t have a reflection because
how does one go 22 years without noticing the colour of their own eyes?” Before I can actually question any of this out loud,
your glasses are on the table, and you’re pulling me closer and for a split second I wish…
Instead I shake my head, part my lips to laugh, and
obediently, I raise my eyes to meet yours.
When they do, I am rendered a silent smile; any laughter previously trying to escape stuck behind a roadblock in my throat,
and suddenly I am a deer caught in your headlights,
your immediate intensity making me feel like the one under scrutiny, even though it should really be the other way around.
I’ve looked into your eyes before, countless times, just never,
this close, never,
this open, and I stop.
And remember to catch myself,
because if I don’t, that stare is going to run me over.
“What colour are your eyes?” That, I thought, is a misleading question
because it leads you to believe there is only one answer.
I am struck by the reality that your eyes are like the ocean, or maybe an ocean all of their own,
encompassing every shade of -
The calming tones, the unmistakeable glow, it makes me want to believe you have an entirely new sky inside of you.
One which does not have limits.
There is a law where I’m from that makes it illegal to have headlights on your car that shine in certain colours;
about the frequency of light posing a danger to those more sensitive to it.
about them shining too bright, even for the darkest of nights.
I think if that law, too, applied to simply existing, then the light in your eyes would be a violation, because,
they are radiant.
But they have a tendency to make me go temporarily bind.
They do not capture light, but defy it.
It’s the kind of colour someone should name a crayon after.
Because it screams a childish curiosity; but also because I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it before.
Every artist knows that colours come in shades, and for every shade, there are ten more abaft it;
but this particular shade would be in a palette all of it’s own,
for fear of mixing it with something else,
for fear of tainting perfection.
They are the colour I paint the walls of the bedroom in my first apartment.
I want to wake up and be surrounded by their inexplicable warmth, and I know that is the closest I will ever be able to get.
They are the colour of an arctic sunrise.
They are the first paint tube to run dry,
the first coloured pencil to need sharpening,
the first marker to stop working.
They are everyones favourite.
They are the colour of swimming at midnight.
They are broken windows made from bulletproof glass.
They are endless lakes, and crystal clear, but when I try to look inside all I see is a tear-stained reflection staring back at me, and I realise they are not lakes at all, but mirrors in disguise.
In disguise because you’re afraid that if I manage to break them, I would consider what I found inside as my dose of bad luck.
They are the colour of pools so deep it’s terrifying,
so deep I can’t see even remotely close to the bottom. And yet
I want to jump in anyway, because I’d rather drown in them than live not knowing what lay below the surface.
Your eyes are the colour of drowning.
They’re a brilliant kind of wild; A current silently pulsing behind them,
a live-wire just waiting,
waiting for the chance to spark a fire.
Not like electroshock therapy that paralyses your heart, or makes your muscles scream -
But the kind of electric that just looking makes my blood dance and
every single damn nerve ending in my body come alive.
The kind of electric that makes it easy to forget that electricity is dangerous, especially when mixed with the water I’m already drowning in.
From the little I can remember from my high school physics class, I know that electricity always travels down the path of least resistance.
Is that why when it all builds up, it’s my eyes you start looking for?
Because you know I would sooner be struck by your lightning than close my eyes to your ultraviolet potential -
Differences between the two of us are apparent when your sparks meet my wishing wells; shallow pools filled with copper flavoured hope - and everyone knows that when you throw the wire into the water it may look spectacular but you have to be careful to avoid electrocution.
Your eyes are a song that the whole world would dance to if they didn’t understand the lyrics.
They are the most beautiful kind of melancholy.
They are the colour I paint the bedroom walls in my first apartment.
You know what, screw it, I would go back to the store and buy another 6 cans of paint, we’re going to do the whole apartment, because
your eyes are the colour of addiction;
they’re like a drug and once you start you never want to stop and I know I need to look away sooner rather than later but just - 5 more seconds I keep telling myself 5 more seconds.
I can’t because you just smiled and suddenly your eyes are the only Christmas lights I’ll allow to shine in October.
For weeks, I have been confused.
Because whenever our eyes met, we didn’t just get sparks, instead, something undeniable ignited.
And I wondered endlessly, how such a roaring flame could be cultivated by glaciers,
and fighting tides,
and the unshed raindrops of all too unnoticed thunderstorms.
I guess I just figured flames were red hot, right?
I can’t believe it took me this long to realise; the hottest fires burn -
I am unsure of how long I’ve been sitting here.
“Well?” You smile.
I almost wish…
Instead, the flames continue to flicker in the path of our eye contact and
it should be blinding but I think we’re getting used to the glow.
It makes sense now, because the hottest fires burn -
Addendum: You were happy with that answer, but to me it was inadequate.
To say your eyes are blue is like to say the sun is yellow; accurate, sure.
But entirely insufficient to capture the burning.