She wants to know
and I wonder how
a person old enough
to earn a diploma couldn’t
know its off-ness, its
less-than-pure whiteness,
the brown or red or yellow
diluted tinge of it,
the sun-deprived,
flesh-toned skin of it.
How could she live
eighteen years in a world
full of it? But hers isn’t full
of it, just her skin—
the faint tint of beige itself
that she doesn’t know because
this is Rochester, New York
and perhaps she is one
of the sixty percent
who hasn’t learned enough
to graduate into a world
becoming less beige by day
and more off-white by night
into a common latte.


WHAT COLOR IS BEIGE? by Claudia Stanek



Photo used under CC.