In Defense of Beige

Shade of cedar planks. Latte foam dissolved
in slow-drip coffee. First inch
of the horizon when the sun has slunk
behind Illinois cornfields in February,
or before it peers over the hump
of a hill just south of Toledo.
Color of Patti Smith’s tongue.
Some call you drab, uninspired,
the shade of a packed Boeing’s belly—
but to me, you are sidewalks worn by rain
and stride, my skin after the six months
of Midwestern winter. You are oatmeal
and honeycomb, the sleeping grenade
of a wasp’s nest. You are the rope
that snares stallions, the dust
I brush from their tails, the clay
I chisel from clefts in their hooves.

By Brian Czyzyk