Back to Issue Thirty-Four



Finalist for the 2020 Adroit Prize for Poetry


i hurl at the thought of losing
my life during the night.

where no one can see
but you can always

see them blues
on some bullshit.

i always think
i hear blue

when i listen
to black people talk

about their aspirations
or when i listen

to my cousin laugh
in the backseat or when

is just niggas.

in the moments you are least
a nigga

them blues
become the most blue.

i never see red though.
i just be it.

some days the world changes
like a beat switch. the sky is

cotton and then it becomes
those that pick them.

it is a lose-lose
situation with

the color
of cotton.

i feel like the night
right before it becomes

night, the blue
slowly peeling light

back into black. life is built
around ironies like that,

like white people
who wear durags

and black people
who talk about love,

love beating blue black.
love beating black blue.

i hate
blue then.

cuz blue has been pitted
against black even though

there is so much
blue in black.

but the blue in black
has been caused by

the men riding in blue
and the men living in no color

and the men burning in white
and the men profiting in the black

and the men that have taught us to believe
that our blue is not blue at all

but words, words that got no color
and words no one even understands.

i understand life
as a conception of niggatry.

niggas are here
to make life

beautiful. but so much of that is
by making our blue

something different
so others can see it better.

that’s why i’m in love
with the night

that has overtaken
blue everywhere

and made it
something else entirely,

love beating blue back
love beating black in.

it unravels unapologetically like i unravel
when my head is in between her hands

or how the corner unravels
to cradle the brothers

or how holy water unravels
to embrace foreheads.

and so when i think about dusk blue
i can only think about the fact that

when a rainbow unravels all of its colors
it ain’t even have me.

Edward Moreta Jr. (he/him/his) is an Afro-Latino student in the class of 2022 at Kenyon College and a Milton Academy alum. He is from Dorchester, a neighborhood in the city of Boston, and has been published in the Tahoma Literary Review and The Offing. He is looking for a job where he can actually do (cool?) stuff and then get paid for it. Please hire him?!


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