"Projection"

I think we're all a color, she said,

so, what's mine?

 

The answer bubbled from my lips:

 

You're orange, I told her.

Not jack-o-lantern,

not traffic cone,

but the orange that flings

coral and cantaloupe

across the darkening --

that births earth,

mothers harvest,

infiltrates and explodes daylight.

 

I watched her eyes comprehend

our conjoined roots

and our tether to the future.

I knew she felt my orange hand

on her orange heart.

 

I gathered my breath,

piece by piece.

What color am I? I asked,

and my hands curved

to receive her bounty.

 

I think you're beige.

Let's get something to eat.

"Projection" first published in The Offbeat

Notes: This poem is based upon a humorous incident from my past, and I hope it gives you a chuckle. I was trying to poke fun at myself for projecting so much meaning and depth onto a person who was clearly engaged in mere casual conversation. It's a reminder to myself to stay grounded in reality and the present moment.

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