white by Nikaela Peters

More Colour Studies love. ” All burdened with the strain of hope ” Words and images by Nikaela Marie.




White:  A tablecloth with raised stitching I read like brail while the dinner party conversation moves from the food to climatic zones (not to be interpreted sexually) to memories of almost drowning.   After we eat, there is a balloon blowing competition to measure lung capacity.   Showing off his balloon blown in a single breath, a boy almost lights the white plastic on fire with one of the candles on the table.  The flame blinks off like a ghost.  The balloon pops.

White:  In winter, when we get to a place, we strip tease through the first minute inside.   We stamp snow off our boots dust it off our shoulders.  We shed a clump of items – scarves and toques and mitts and fogged up glasses.   The linings of coats splayed cadavers.  Heaped together in public places, our winter wear evokes private place piles: tangled underwear and sheets – evidence of our intimacy.   We are warm together.  We talk of other things as we strip.  We greet the other body emerging from their jacket.  Unconscious of our revealing, we bear cold wrists and hair and throats.  We show each other skin the sun hasn’t touched for months.

White:  The blank page.  The virgin.  The sourdough starter.  All burdened with the strain of hope.  Thank goodness for words and sex and ovens.  For making potential manifest.

White:  The milk that spills from the one breast while my baby sucks it’s neighbor.  The milk that spills from his mouth when he pulls off.  The milk that stains his clothes and mine.  The part of my breast that has not been consumed with areola and nipple.  The inside of his lips chapped from constant sucking.  The inside of his palm when his fist opens, as it repetitively does, a kneading instinct left behind by the animal he evolved from.  The milk that fills the bottle attached to my breast.  My knuckles on the pump.  My hot pride.

White:  An artic hare in winter.  The underside of a manta ray and a great white shark.   The belly of a sea eagle.  Parts of animals only revealed the brave – the polar explorer, the diver, the fish too close to the warm surface. 

White:  Your breath on the window.  You run your finger through the condensation, tracing a shape.  I asked what you’ve drawn. “A dead fish floating down into the abyss” is your answer.  “Beautiful,” I say.

White: Salt, Teeth, The moon. 

White conceals and reveals.  Like Freud’s understanding of dreams.   Like mystery and magic and story.  Because it reflects all wavelengths of light one could argue it contains every colour within it.  As if a little prodding (or phsyco-analysis) would cause every colour to spill out.  The plainest cloud in fact a rainbow.  The simplest thing the most complicated.




Thank you Nikaela