Sunday, December 11, 2016

Synthesia! (She Otherwise Liked Condoleezza)

She was orange and born without ears.
You’d think she’d have thought these genetic
mutations were cruelly tough but she didn’t.

Rid of one sense, supplied with another – seized
synesthetically by the emotional meanings in color
perceived in the faintest degrees from their leanings

toward, pull-backs from, brighter and duller –
of sensory data, she’d more than enough. Color, to her,
had far deeper dimensions than ever could open to us.

Some chemical agent, sources unknown, found a home
in the unwitting womb of her mother, whose germ
(or whatever the technical term) somehow fell into

melanin cells whose division re-routed conventional
pathways to hearing (mysteriously boosting vision) –
clearing the way to the brilliant display of her pigment-to-be.

Apparently skin tinted orange invariably either indicates
liver disease or a rarer inordinate hyper-proclivity to
what she’d later embrace as her name: Synesthesia.

(She otherwise liked Condoleezza.) She ‘hears’ it,
of course, by watching it leap through a strange range
of purple to yellow to blue, unimaginable to our view.

Color’s the reason she doesn’t need ears: she hears
unequivocally via her rainbow equivalents: she’s driven
to tears by her visual version of clamorous noise.

To us this is wondrous, to her it has never occasioned
a more than a very occasional lapse in her poise –
in the confident glide of her glamorous ride

through her wide and dramatic chromatic intelligence.
Blithely – oh, lesson in elegance she’ll always be! –
she takes it in stride.


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