Two poems

Kyle Carrero Lopez
Victoria Mbabazi

Color Theory

I’m thinking about keywords, words as keys, letters as grooves:
ceramic, stucco, clays, wood on base. Yucatán. Henequen.
Twins. Night. Dance. Tail. Each surface streaked with blues
of different hues. Each one feels so specific. Each time
you re-remember something, the palette might change,
just a little—millimeters on a color picker. What becomes
of that blue over time, the one you felt so well?

Blue is a sentimental colour
an ordinary person’s favourite I heard the artist
spent a long time looking for something
specific an unusual blue a rare hue
I always thought blue existed in all the shades I’d seen it
a nostalgic colour imprinted with absence
what becomes of blue an emotional
question if I must’ve seen it before or is the question in how to create it

What’s the color of origin? Green, maybe—your color,
Gwendolyn Brooks called it. Must be tied with blue.
Twins, those two. You never choose one
child over the other, at least not out loud.
A rare hue—a type of beauty which could be universal.
Archaic beauty. Beauty smashed by conquest. Clay, rocks,
soil: the earth archival.

I never thought of green and blue as twins but you’re right fraternal too
green is the colour of wealth substance earth they belong to each other
when I think of blue my head goes to purple I think they are married
to each other as green is to yellow and now I want to ask
what is the colour of creation but I know the answer I mean
I hope I believe it’s warmth



The first thing they tell us is how it’s made the clay has an origin story it tells us about fire and water I know the elements are good at suffocating each other it tells us a myth about twins the gods love a story in twos a joining they come together let’s do that too I want to know you you know that I know that the romance is the beginning they say the artist is she walks on air so am I so do I tell me what are we writing each other about again

Reading about a myth is so different from growing up with that myth. Did you ever want a twin? My brother and I were like twins—not quite, sixteen months—but everyone thought so: our own little myth. Mythology is very private, very public, like see-through fabric on skin. Tell me something private

I heard there was something called Irish twins when siblings are a year or less apart I always wished me and my sister were twins someone told us we were twins in that way when we were children it wasn’t true we are fourteen months and eleven days apart I didn’t know that growing up and then we grew up and grew apart maybe we are almost twins fourteen months like you and your brother not quite but unlike you they all thought she was older which isn’t a fact but it could be true if age was counted by how much you’ve seen—tell me something you’ve seen

I’ve seen an ant climb up a pile of small rocks we stacked on top of a larger one on the beach. This was yesterday . It seemed so excited to explore a new structure. A gust of wind took it and my friend thinks it got caught by a wave. I hope it survived. More surprising things have happened, like clay coming through a kiln. A serpent shedding its skin. Water mid-freeze. Drying sweat. Matter and its funny shifts. Daily pills of impermanence.

Kyle Carrero Lopez is the author of MUSCLE MEMORY, the chapbook winner of the 2020 [PANK] Books Contest. Find him at

Victoria Mbabazi is the author of chapbook (anstruther press) and FLIP (knifeforkbook). You can find more about their work here: