Matthew Mutiva

What’s your favorite color?

It’s a legitimate question.


eyes shifted back

and forth in the classic pendulum of guilt.



I’m the only kid in class who has enough balls to raise his hand.

A phlegm-less cough,

respecting the boundaries of his peers,

the etiquette in all coloring books;

except, when the red pens are drawn: they’re claustrophobic.


We left the caps on all the red writing utensils

out of respect;

until melanated ink rains diesel fuel,

and everyone’s hands were colored,

then we asked for a search warrant.


Points for your fantasy team

whipped white tally’s on the black board

forcing the traditional team logo to scrunch its face up

to look like a zebra:

a byproduct  manufactured

in the American Snack factory of oppression, I answered

waiving a green dollar bill


Grounded in these assigned seats

with the gum underneath the table

for wearing green

because all reggae songs sound the fucking same!


My answer was practically weightless, yet simple:

nobody moves,

nobody gets hurt,

eyes included.


During hunting season

I keep my culture in a holster.

When animal lovers encroach on this blood-line,

we play the longest game of hide and seek

your continent could imagine.


And when they found me,

red handed,

I swore

I hadn’t had a job

since the last slave trade.


But unemployment sucks,

I need a job,

and they ask me this in my job interview.


Matthew Mutiva is that feeling you get when your favorite song comes on the radio, but when you listen to it, you realize you just caught the end of it, and now you’re pissed. In his sophomore year of college, he is an English Ed. Major with a Creative Writing minor, and plays rugby for UW-Platteville Men’s Rugby Club. His hobbies include thinking, having intellectual conversations, writing, weightlifting, and being active.