Nathan Coppedge

(10/23/1982 / New Haven, CT)


What is the blackest black?
We tell ourselves it isn’t there:

We say it is gray, because gray obscures
and night is gray with the graying black
but night is black, so we move on,
into dreams or out of dreams,
we chance upon a different color
and follow its rules, and say it is true

We look at the night, and we say it is red
the red of our eyes, the red over our bones
it is the shifting red, the red where the sun moves,
the red of replacement, the red of night-women,
the red that follows white, the sloughed-off red,
the silent but listening red.

And the night is red in these ways, and
when its gray is reddened, it is blackened
The night is greened with horizons, a
billiard-ball’s green, a folded and whispering green
it speaks in bluish-green tones that are soft
without light

Under the shadow of the green wall of the night,
the trees lay hold to infinite space,
their roots dripping thick water behind our eyes
and outside the shadow of the green wall
gold coins tumble on an azure field, fangled with white fire.

Submitted: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Edited: Saturday, March 22, 2014
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