You can hear the click, in the dark, in the heart, in the silence.
A note, then another, flows over the crowd, a wave sliding up
the sandcastle wall, washing it down to nothing, taking it back to the sea;
this pearl of a note, repeated into a strand by the velvet breath,
the long boned fingers and the flash of gold trumpet that joins them.
It’s not as if black was a color, it was a thing you either touched
or didn’t, not by mood but on principle, the kind associated
with flags and floats, cowgirls on horseback their legs spread over
the muscled spine of a black quarter horse – just a color, not a thing.
How that music swarmed like something soft, a breeze of butterflies,
the gentle beginning of a wild, hot sirocco when the dust settles
in layers of new skin over the African coast. Movement happens,
a slight swaying of hips when lovers dance. Music ceases to be a thing,
becomes a force, irresistible under a black moonless sky.
The first time I touched color, a strangeness that startled by its
innocence, its simple matter of fact – black – the first time color
touched me, startled by its electricity, by the contrast, innocence,
and the lie – not a thing, just color, the way music is a strand of pearls.
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