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Beth Sherman

Colors are drug-addled teenagers. They mainline adrenaline. They pierce soft cartilage and never stay home to wash dishes. Azure does a half nelson off a cliff into a pool of clear water and doesn’t worry about cracking her skull open on the rocks. Lilac gets knocked up and barrels past protesters outside Planned Parenthood, with their half-dead-baby signs. Gold steals from the register at Forever 21, four dollars in her pocket for every two that come in. They take Uber and watch Netflix, wouldn’t be caught dead on the Benjamin Moore wheel, reduced to two inch squares, hybridized strips coordinated, tamed.

The others think up dangerous tasks I have to perform as if I’m rushing a sorority: close your eyes while driving, just for a few seconds; refuse to eat for five days; hold your breath until your lungs burst. Nights, I lie on the roof and watch darkness try to rein in the stars. It never works. They fold up and blink off until the colors come back again, stronger than ever, offering to dance with me on the beach, swaying and possessive, as the waves erase our feet.