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Whiteness

Whiteness

Think about the color red
It’s a primary color, right?
For pink, just add some red to white
That is, pink’s a tint of red — and, so,
Since white mixed with blue
Is called light-blue
We can call pink light-red, too
And what is white?
A color? color’s absence?
If you went to pick up paint
To blend some pink
You’d simply say: I need two things
Some red and white — white is a color
In that respect — in spite
Of the fact of white’s colorlessness
You could call it plain as well
Or emptiness, or blank
Sure, it’s opaque
That’s its one true quality
That light can’t get through it —
Light and all that light implies —
In some ways it’s, actually, nothingness
That which isn’t — non-existence
One small component, perhaps, of why
Those whose identities stem from it
Are so filled with fright
And reject all light

Elliot Sperber is a writer, attorney, and adjunct professor. He lives in New York City and can be reached at elliot.sperber@gmail.com and on twitter @elliot_sperber

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