White men are not white.
Nor are white women white.
All skin hidden under the thick roof of a house stays white.
Sweating beneath thick coat suits and sheened pleated pants.
Pale. Like a ghost wants hidden.
All shy skin, grown colorless over time, needs no more than shame.
Naked shame in the face of a scrutinizing sun.
For a few days in summer white glows like light reflected off salt-dripping skin.
The heat of whole afternoons bakes bread red as the clay beneath feet.
Red like the dirt bodies burn red turning all day.
By the time the leaves on the trees are brown
white women and men will be brown also.
After two or three honest summers,
white becomes what you call someone
who sits too long in the shade.