Melon, clay, bronze,
ginger, apricot,
pumpkin, goldenrod,
rust, tiger, fire, 
spice, carrot, ochre,
and willpower orange–
all names for different shades
of orange from a hardware store’s
paint department–orange isn’t really mentioned.

I never understood
the orange palette 
until I went to Vieques,
surrounded by the bright 
blue and turquoise Caribbean Sea,
where the color orange bounces
like a beach ball across the island–
orange is a mango, a voluptuous flower,
the swirl on a mural, the color of an
entire building, the steps leading up.

Orange is a party, orange is delicious, 
Orange is a life well-lived, a surprise–
a color we cannot live without.