Red, Orange, Yellow

When I was a kid, my mom would give me and my sisters

coloring books to keep us preoccupied 

during Sunday Masses- Jesus themed coloring books, of course.

The Catholic kind where you use crayons to 

fill the lines of the Eucharist, the cross, the Bible. 

Kept us quiet while also staying relevant. 


I wasn’t really a fan of the religious aspect, 

instead more interested in how to turn my

palette of eight wax colors into 

as many hues as there supposedly were creatures 

boarded up on Noah’s ark. 


In eighth grade, long after my mom decided that

we had to actually pay attention to our church services,

my family took a roadtrip to

Washington, D.C., over April break. 

Hotels cost too much so we stayed with some 

distant relatives. Still not sure how we were related, 

something intricate on my father’s side, as per usual.


Halfway through the week we find ourselves

standing in front of the white house in all its glory.

Mom seemed to forget how sluggish the heat

left us all feeling because kids wouldn’t it be so cool

if we saw President Obama?

Instead we saw protesters with signs as big as their egos.

God Hates Faggots. 

You’ll burn in Hell.


A man will a bullhorn was yelling about how 

the President and everyone involved would 

be subject to eternal damnation if 

us queers were given the goddamn right to put a ring on it.

Security stepped in and I swear I had never seen 

guns that big anywhere but on television. 


Mom steered us away,

her sunscreen scented hands on our shoulders,

telling Dad 

enough was enough.


Ironic how many times I filled the pages of my 

discount coloring books with the colors of the rainbow

while he sat beside me listening to the sermon.

As Mom pulled us away she muttered to herself

if he gets shot, that’s on him.

Riots were happening in Baltimore,

we watched updates on the morning news, 

and she wanted to take no chances. 

She lead us across the street and said 

in a quiet voice that shook like thunder;

if you hear shots,

she squeezed my shoulder tighter,

lock arms and run.



not 2 sound like the teacher told us all to get in a group and talk abt poetry, but your flow is amazing. 

like, i could really feel the place and times specific color of your tension, and not just because a similar situation happened around my school (got to love florida). 

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