My second grade teacher liked to ask us,
“How do you feel today, on a scale of one to ten?”
Ten always meant I’m super, thank you
and one was always not today, Mrs. MacAuley, not today.
But I never liked numbers, they would always
twist and rebel against my mind so I chose
to speak in colors instead.
January third – I am the color
of mint chocolate chip ice cream
but I’ve eaten all the chocolate chips.
I am calm.
February seventh – I am a bruise of
blues and violets today. I think it would
be best if I sat by the window.
These are unhappy colors.
April eleventh – I am turquoise, I am magenta,
I am every color in the rainbow.
April thirtieth – I am gray, I am silent.
May first – I am orange, the color of melting
creamsicles on a beach in July.
June twelfth – I am as yellow as the school bus
that will bring me home to summer. I am free.
Twelve years later, I still use colors.
The winter makes me feel cobalt blue, the ocean
turns me a seafoam green. Violets and purples
leave me uneasy and scarlet is a fever of fury.
Some nights I drown in shades of navy, denim,
and cornflower but other nights I meditate in forests of
harlequin and shamrock.
you leave me a blinding white followed by a soft yellow:
the color of sunlight after a period of darkness.