Viva My Magenta!

Pantone’s 2023 Viva Magenta

Magenta?  I swoon, no matter how much naysayers insist I should pay attention to the end of the world.  Pantone may have anointed Viva Magenta the color of 2023, but I’ve been living in that color since the cusp of adolescence.  In a series of evolving poems, I’m exploring the how, what, why of colors.  Here, from childhood memory, are some lines with jolts of pure precision about self-construction:

streams of plastic beads in orange and pink
over my childhood window,
wall of color, and what of the palette I made of my skin,
vocabulary of my first identity
a bolder version of girl that I envisioned

black-haired, black-eyed, skin olivy (my mother
called it green) 
Picasso glazed a green girl before a mirror
Manet working magic with black 
I did magic with magenta, painting a hot-pink babe

The same poem includes a royal sighting: an image of the way colors erupt and disrupt with their beauty.  

Stunning, that man stepping from the commuter train cutting a cool
diagonal across the macadam —
his skin deep and black, his baseball cap magenta
vibrant, shivery, majesty shielded by his own boldness turning his palette into talisman
daring pink to blush and daring pale to scatter
‘pretty’ to man up in Red Sox country, to visionary 
himself a living painting 

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