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Angela TownsendMarch 14, 2024

People give me bookmarks, but I prefer paint swatches.
They are free and ubiquitous, earnest and ridiculous.

I hide under a pink baseball cap in Home Depot,
rose-colored criminal pinching paper strips.

I tell myself I favor the orphans anyway,
burlesque magentas and yammering egg yolks
fit for no wall but the chambers of a child’s heart.

I shake hands with the writers whose wordplay lives here,
legends whose novels hide in notebooks.

The world should honor their names,
because they call blue “Hope’s Horizon”
and beige “A Dream of More.”

Pink could be cotton candy,
but some lover has named it “Glad Heart.”

The customer asks for brown,
not knowing she needs “Soft Animal.”

The palest lavender is “Guardian Angel,”
a paint chip writer’s revelation.

I wonder if she rode the color wheel
all the way to the six-winged seraphs
and heard what no book can contain.

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