the color of the sunset

i walk slowly ahead
of a blue sled, the host
of a purple jacket, the host
of a pink-faced three year old
the only medication for this holocaust of the soul

[squinting]
what color is the sunset, daddy?
“red”
she repeats,
and looks in the opposite direction,
what color is the sunset?

it’s a fusion of orange and silence
red and black and blue
it’s the color of my heart as we speak
the breath hanging in the air
like a question
unanswered

what color is the sunset? mariah asks

to be exact, i am not sure anymore
but there was a time
i was never in doubt

but of this, i’m confident:
this snowbank is our couch
and i would rather sit here with you
right now, this moment
than do anything else in the entire world.

we trade stories of billy the bear
and hope for spring to come soon
as surely as daylight fades
once upon a time there was man named jerry depoy jr.
and he loved his girls more than life itself…

what color is the sunset, daddy?

it’s the color of tears, salty
down my face an ocean on the carpet
where i am fully present fully somewhere else
exhausted of repression, suppression, depression
and the infinite self-hatred

i am numb to the words of affirmation
that used to fuel me like a drug
in the distance i can hear the violent heaving of my best friend
hovering over a porcelain toilet
and i am the cause

what color is the sunset, daddy?

it’s the color of dry heaving and the inevitability of hope
it’s the color of prescription medication (anti-everything)
it’s the color of trust in circles of tears and prayers and battle cries for deliverance
it’s the color of a God who is counting down the days until my groaning will be no more

it’s the color of ambria’s baby monitor
and the exchange of turns in the middle of another sleepless night
it’s the color of lies and truth and fist and a hush
and the color of terror and the color of my greatest fear

what color is the sunset, daddy?

it’s the color of rocks thrown from unexpected people
in unexpected ways. it’s the color of the breath that leaves
my lungs at the last email received
and i clutch the microphone – absolutely no shade
both spot lights center stage
me in pieces

but this i know, of this i’m sure:
there’s nowhere i’d rather be
than right here on this snowbank
in the backyard in the stillness you can hear
the neighbors barking dog
and my breaking heart

One thought on “the color of the sunset

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