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Black is a Most Beautiful Color

"the summer burnt blueberry skin of the Bahamian" 

Published onJan 22, 2023
Black is a Most Beautiful Color
artwork by Kurt Lovelace

artwork by Kurt Lovelace

Black is a Most Beautiful Color

too. Through the prism of science, white
is the presence of all colors, black
the absence of light and color.

But our skins are not science yet glisten  
with its presence, brushed pigments of pimento, 
radish, dandelions, onion, charcoal. As a boy,

the summer burnt blueberry skin of the Bahamian 
fishermen who graces me his artfulness, 
rolls a conch shell with his left foot, chops
open its pink extending spiral crown 
with his machete. Firm fingers yank-out
and wash in the inrushing waves the still 
squirming sea snail. He cuts into its meat
and hands me a gracious silver sliver.

I kneel into his generosity,
knees sunk deep in the wet sand. I chew 
and bite into the musclier salt and 
wiggle of the ocean’s boundless motion.

Pale skin is not all colors but pink,
canary, banana, mango, flamingo, cherry
with drops of chestnut and squirrel
moles and freckles between bristles of hair

with blood flowing a dolphin blue hue 
disappearing under the thicket and bramble
of bone stretching muscle and tendrils of tendon.

We are such beautiful colors of ourselves.

An editor, writer, translator, and mathematician, Kurt's first book of poems, essays, and translations, Halfway Between Everywhere, was published in December, 2022. His work appears in The Lascaux Review, North Dakota Review, San Antonio Review, U.K. Lancaster University’s Red Ogre Review, U.H. Honor College’s Athena and other journals. Two additional collections, Apophrades and Intrepitudes and Disfigurments, are forthcoming.

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