"To Richard" - Rachel Peterson

His mind is
Browning and blueing
This indefinable coloring
Reflects in his eyes
His tears are too cemented
From the rust of rank survival
To ever weigh and fall
Words are his weapons
But they’re never enough
They return from the illimitable darkness
Into which he’d thrown them
In vigorous faith
Into the etiolated boundary
Of white worlds
The browns, the blues
The reds, the blacks
The blotting of colors
Into agonies of displacement
Natchez to Memphis to
Chicago to New York
To London to Paris
To an exile lacking
Even a physical

Rachel Peterson graduated from UW-Madison in December of 2012 with a degree in English and Afro-American Studies. She loves coffee, libraries, and the works of Richard Wright. She has previously published in Illumination.