The painter thought about how red
is the imagination’s default color
of cars (Hondas and convertibles)
of lipstick, of roses,
of mailboxes and bandanas.
Blues, too, are almost unusable.
He didn’t want some numskull
gushing about his blue phase
or dark tonality.
Better to muddy his colors,
he’s sure, thinking of that color preference test
in which three-fourths of those who chose brown
were soldiers during World War Two.