By Emma Tindale
As a child, purple was everything pure:
The colour of Lent in the Catholic Church
The Bishop’s robe as he gave the sermon
Sunday mornings and sacrifice as we’d fast
Purple was my craving, giving into temptation.
Purple was the matching outfits of three little girls
Sisters that rode imagined dragons, climbed trees, lived in jungles
Boundless imagination, enthusiasm for every game
Purple was exploration, innocence and awe.
Purple was a prison, disguised as a high school
The art room that brought forward my creativity
The purple library where we took refuge when classes didn’t appeal
The institution that moulded us into refined Presbyterian women
Purple was our rebellion, when none of us obliged.
Purple was the hickeys from highschool boyfriends when my sexuality arose
Conspicuous marks that concealer couldn’t camouflage
Purple was my abashed expression when my hair parted from my neck
Revealing to all my weekend disgrace.
Purple was strobe lights in clubs and parties when I began to drink
The lights that I chased around Europe when I travelled overseas
The bass of songs, the lurid flicker of lights
Purple became bad habits and tequila shots
Purple never foresaw the hangover.
Purple was sexual liberation, exhilaration in the city
Purple glitter on my face through the Mardi Gras
The bodies, the dances, the sex, the floats—kissing women, pining for men
Purple was no longer the Catholic Church.
Purple made me question everything.
Purple was the dress I wore to the ball three weeks before a relationship fell apart
Purple hung in my cupboard unwanted, drawing me back to the pain
Reminding me of what was lost, engulfing my dejection
Purple was primary, blue and red, love and loss.
Purple was the heartache that changed me.
Purple has decorated moments of my life
Purple has contoured who I am.
Purple has been pain, elation, solidarity, isolation.
Purple is memories I’ve held onto and longed to forget.
Purple is progress, an association to many of life’s events, momentous and trivial.
As I am, purple is everything.