What It’s Like to Be a Chameleon

Pressed to the lens, I reply:

When I am blue, I am the sweetness of the sky spread over toast.

My tongue is a clarinet and my heart is a sieve.

I am delicious and sad.

When I am green, I lie on the bottom of the ocean and look up. My toes stretch for miles and my horns are hyacinths.

I am singing and smooth.

When I am orange, I drink smoke from the factories and float belly up in a carbon haze, like an upside-down balloon.

My eyes are cannons and my memory is ash.

I am swollen and pure.

Purpleness interrupts me, unbuttons my brain and exposes my bed, freezing me midthought like an icicle of dripping dreams.

My skin is a shell and my intestines an echo.

I am electric and blind.

When I am red, I rise like a ruined sun in a convex sky, my destruction unswept by the brushstrokes of a blinking eye.

My jaw is a lantern and my teeth its shadows.

I am violent and limp.

When I am white, I lather myself with the bark of trees, which scrub me skinless like the sanding, seething foam of the sea.

My tail is a lighthouse and my claws are chalk.

I am itchy and awed.

In brownness I drown until the muddy river Regret hiccups and I am spit sanctified from its mouth. Pain dilutes me and my courage flees.

My bones are a bandage and my blood is a salve.

I am drifting and dead.
I am sunk and unsaid.

When I am black, I am Being unbound, released and unleashed from nothing but myself.

My lungs are the universe and my breath is a god.

I am hungry and huge.

When I am yellow, I throb like a dollop of paint deposing the sun. Branches snap in the strength of my claws and I hang from the ether on a golden chain.

My head is a poem and my body a man.