I am an empty vessel
a perfect, blank canvas
for a city like this,
to project anything and everything
right onto my taut skin
until you have whatever image you want.
Shiny, fresh, new, malleable,
crimson, hunter green, blush, marigold,
lost, seeking, searching, finding
anything and everything you want me to find.
I’ll even lose myself if you want.
Drowning in the possibilities,
distracted by the attractions:
70mm Kurosawa films and back entrances,
orange with hope
like the sun rising over the Hollywood Basin,
cerulean like the Pacific Ocean waving at me
from across the city,
ducking through a refrigerator
to find an exclusive bar
where everyone knew the password
and I was one of them,
with all the colors in tow
now gold gilded with ash, melding
like a palette that needed to be stripped.
I’m in the room now, so it’s too late
to acknowledge that
when so many colors splash onto my canvas –
I could no longer see
my skin underneath it.