City Color Palette

A city landscape steel melts like candle wax, the droplets sliding down the sides of buildings and crashing into the sidewalk. Fire hydrants and stoplights pop like daisies, and a taxicab struggles to drive with a half a wheel. What color is sunlight? Physics says, “White.” Physics doesn’t know what a rhetorical question is. Clouds jostle the sunlight and rain in a juggling feat or perhaps more like a coin— heads, for sunny skies, high of 65 tails, for a 70% chance of rain. Rain drags the color from people like watercolor paints lavender from a man with the upturned collar (the bruises on his neck, chest, hip shave almost faded, so he must go home to his lover to color them in again) sangria from that woman and four-inch heels (she will go home and rub her aching feet while she waits for her husband to smack her lipstick off her face) and black from the boy down the street (he forgot to keep some love for himself before he handed it out like change in some poor musician’s case) A painter washes her brush for the first time and watches color bleed from the bristles. This is what sunlight must look like.

By JC Choi