MHAM Submission - Annie Buchheit


Metallic Purple Sharpie by Annie Buchheit

What a collection. 
Purple and pink. 
Blue and green. 
A rainbow of metallics
And they all belong to me.

My finger drags along each one, 
Each black barrel smooth, 
Each black cap fixed tight. 
It stops: pink. 
The color of Valentine’s
And roses and hearts. 
The color of warm cheeks
As you sip on a hot cup of tea. 
The color of women’s lips
Tinted by drugstore lipstick.

What a sweet color, too, 
As it glides along the length of my arm, 
Words spilling from its tip
In luxurious print. 
A curling Y. 
A twisting O. 
An elegant U. 
Letters spelling out words of encouragement. 
You are not alone. 
You are important. 
You matter.

Each word curlicues across my arm
In a glorious symphony of love. 
Each phrase changes color. 
Some that sunset rose. 
Some in greens, 
Shimmering like gemstones. 
Some in blues to match the sky. 
Each letter shaped just so. 
Each embellishment added with a flourish
So full of love and joy
It would make anyone smile.

My finger drags along each pen, 
Each black barrel smooth, 
Each black cap fixed tight. 
It stops: purple. 
Like the streaks of clouds at night
As a storm thunders by. 
Like the flowers blooming in spring
And dying in the summer’s heat. 
Like the color I fell in love with
As my mother did before me, 
As my father did before me. 
The color of disenchantment. 

With quick agility, 
The pen is in my hands, 
Squeezed between my fingertips, 
Cap off, tip glowing in the light
As it slices across the skin of my forearm, 
Leaving its trace behind, 
Its ink trailing in unknown patterns.

The words form as my brain clouds. 
The sun has set and dark has come. 
The roses have wilted. 
Springtime is no more. 
The only thing inside my head is me. 

The words trail across my skin, 
Almost unreadable, 
Cloudy with emotions. 
The Y’s run into the O’s run into the U’s run into the– 
Nothing is comprehensible. 
Hatred in the form of a metallic purple sharpie
And its inky path.

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