The Object

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,

enthralling –

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.


~Nicole Bird

Orlando, India

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