Sunday, September 9, 2007

Poetry Sunday: Brown Beauty

Great beauties in songs and poems do not look like me. They sometimes have raven or auburn tresses, but never brown hair. Great beauties have skin that is alabaster or porcelain, but never terra cotta. They have jade green or crystal blue eyes, but never big brown eyes.

Ever notice that brown eyes are always BIG? Not much else, just... BIG. I've always been dismayed that most lyricists and poets haven't found words to make brown eyes blue. Or green. Or anything but BIG.

If I could have a conversation with my 14-year-old Self, I would tell her that brown--the color of her hair, skin, and eyes--is as beautiful as any other color in nature. I would reassure her that there will be songs like "Brown-Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison and "Brown Skin Lady" by Bobby Banduria. These songs don't really extol the virtues of her brownness, but they don't call her brown eyes BIG, either. Baby steps.

I wrote this poem today for my 14-year-old Self.

Brown Beauty

Her hair is the color of
Pine bark
Bear fur
Wild truffles

It flies
atop ship masts
above castles
over lovers

Her skin is the color of

It gets
under your fingernails
on your body
in your mouth

Her eyes are the color of
warm chocolate fondue in October
a macchiato from that Venetian café
a bonbon just before it melts

They burn
into your heart
through your soul
out of your mind

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