This text is black.

“Like my soul,” says my generation,

stringing up skeletons and spiderwebs

and painting their walls and wardrobes

to match. I watch

the murky words fade into dull ears,

and the reality of evil creates

a cloudy ache in my chest.

Colors are not tools

to poke fun at its existence.


It is black,

like the grimy asphalt roads

that pull my muddy, worn tires and thoughts

further down an eternal string of broken yellow lines.

The sky is a gray that my eyes rival.

In days past, I would have trembled at the dark,

clinging to pictures of sunlit pastures

when the world had painted the windows black.

Darkness was a foreign word.


It was black,

like the color of broken bonds and tainted trust,

smudging my fingers and my heart.

Darkness equals evil,

or so my childhood calculations had resolved.

The closet held no room for dark sweaters or sadness.

But now

black sleeves creep about my wrists,

along with the deeper colors

I find myself unearthing safety in.


They are black,

like the inky ripples of a quiet lake

as I watch from the rough, wooden porch above.

The air is stagnant against my beating chest.

Reflections of a dark-caped sky

seep into the watery depths,

perhaps striking the sea life with clouded uncertainty.


The night is still,

but midnight is still a mystery.


It is black,

like the night that carried my wordless prayers

when all else had turned a heedless ear.

Faithful constellations

had blinked out of focus,

but the haze they left was oddly secure—

as safe as the arms of the shadows I slept in.

And a heart that was tied to the stars

became bound

to the darkness between them.


This text is black,

but the darkness need not be evil.

The gray, faded clothes I wear

do not mean that I am one with a dim depression,

or that I do not appreciate creation’s colors.

I have embraced what I once found fearful;

I now understand that the dark understands me.

Because even if stars or strings of lights

flicker out of view,

the darkness they leave is not evil.

It is simply unknown.

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