deepundergroundpoetry.com

coloring outside of you

I think I came screaming from the womb  
with an chronic case of
what-the-hell-ever.
And that was mostly how
it's been until you showed up.
 
When I was in kindergarten,  
we were coloring the ditto sheet
with an apple on it,  
for the letter A.  
 
All of the kids colored theirs red  
with green leaves.  
But I liked yellow apples,
and green apples,
and red apples,  
so I made a striped apple,  
with all three colors sort of slipshod  
and bleeding outside of the lines  
in a merry visual cacophony;  
I made the leaves brown.  
 
The other three kids at my coloring table
laughed at me.  
I was weird,  
because apples aren't striped,  
and because my coloring was wrong.

When I was 16, on a whim,
I grabbed (read: threatened and blackmailed)
my five best girls from campus,  
and we drove an hour to St. Augustine,  
crammed like sardines in a 1986 Chevette  
with no air conditioning,  
to eat hand-churned ice cream  
and smoke really good cigars,  
until everyone puked except me  
and my girl T.
 
As I sat there, puffing a cigar,  
taking in the tourist sites and the  
Florida skyline,  
eating the history,  
the street artists,  
and the man in dreadlocks singing  
a U2 song like a bohemian dream  
with an open guitar case in front of him,  
and I knew I could live forever
 
I wished then I was old enough to buy  
whiskey for the cigar,  
or had the foresight to  
steal some from my gramps,  
and a man stopped dead and said,  
and I swear this is true:  
"The only other woman I've ever seen  
smoke a cigar is my wife."  
 
I never learned about boundaries,  
and my light is more beautiful for it.  
So everything in me screams
to break these arbitrary rules
you showed up with.  

I think of the street artists,  
and I wonder if I'll live forever.
 
I wish I never  
(cared)
that you colored  
your apples
striped.  
 
 
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