I’m writing my confession
in crayon, each sentence
a different color, each
telling, perhaps, a fairy tale.
But I swear this is near the truth
as I sometimes color it.
The facts will not come out
of their closet until I know why
my blue, odd urges did it,
why I am a Son of Sam in rouge.
Maybe I am a black
sheep who loves every color
and does not want them mixed.
I do know that everything,
living or dead, has color.
The ones I rubbed out seemed
as wild as rainbows. In truth,
they looked red to me. What they
spilled out stung like my own
A hard crayon shrunk to nothing,
I no longer can fit myself or whom
my hands erased back in the box,
no longer ignore tattoos bleeding
on my back, branding me with odd colors.
I’ll mail these peacock words
to the precinct today.
By the time they get it,
I’ll be in the tub,
red-stained, blue veins drained
to purest white.
Robert S. King, a Georgia native, now lives in the mountains near Hayesville, NC. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Kenyon Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, and Southern Poetry Review. He has published three chapbooks (When Stars Fall Down as Snow, Garland Press 1976; Dream of the Electric Eel, Wolfsong Publications 1982; and The Traveller’s Tale, Whistle Press 1998). His full-length collections are The Hunted River and The Gravedigger’s Roots, both in their second editions from FutureCycle Press, 2012; and One Man’s Profit (Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013).