Blue

It is the hardest to find
(across abandoned ballfield,
October, city street,
no sun).
Wind cuts at the throat
and scours what’s left of grass
to stubble. To anchor
the eye, one blue
anywhere? Anything?
Recycling bin. Mailbox. Yes, a strip
of signal tape fluttering
top rung, batting cage.
There, too. Virginia plate. Square paint
frames a white silhouette
faceless piloting a wheelchair
across the forever flat plane
of the blacktop. From one of the cars
parked with hangtag to match, a pelt
of fleece bright as sapphires and yes, the lot
itself, stone secured by tar,
flecks of slate
cerulean streaks
embedded there, down
from veins in steel beam,
indigo seeps. A silvered mirror
casts the gray back
in aquamarine, a gleam
along the door
of a white pickup truck reflects the robin’s egg
slipping open
of sky, ocean surf
in library glass, even rust
is blue. The green is blue.
The orange even – impossible
opposite on the color wheel –
is blue. But light is not paint. Sun,
even through haze, contains both ends
of the spectrum and everything
in between but it cannot
do this to us.
Day,
you cannot
give it all
all at once like this, we need edges
to contain your relentless
largesse, we need names
for this-not-that
so when I feel
with my eyes for the buff sand
sidewalk to turn me towards
stacked corridors and straighten
me out, I need to know I can trace
in body at least the grooves
in unmoving, unblue walls, mouth
the practiced lines
I claim in (as) my daily public
address. Where
is your mercy? So close
to the door to the work to the rest
of what binds
(such a hue does not exist in nature)
this cellular collection of fluids in motion
to a Me, there you are again
driving your blue
insistence deep into concrete
under my feet, churning cloud
into earth. Blue mesh
holding men who rise
on scaffolding suspends
their labors halfway between floors
6 and 7. They wear scuffed (blue) yellow
hard hats protecting (blue) soft scalps cut
by this same October too-early wind
and the iron bars above their skulls
splay like (blue) ribs
of a model ship smashed on the floor
of the deep (blue) sea, and they
like me are at the bottom of someone else’s
bottle, feeding off scraps
of refracted light and bits
of our predecessors’ left-behind
root and bone, imagining
these gills to be something more, I imagine
that my name for this-
not-that is the same as the thing itself
and when I am gone,
it will go on
bearing some trace of the Me
I’ve scraped into it
by placing its shape
in the color-coded cupboard
of language
Construction worker, zipper, stroller,
Gatorade 2 for $3
Glass door, recessed light, hiss,
Stiletto
, airplane
splits the haze and cuts
in low through a single (blue) patch
that opens
like lungs.
 

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2 thoughts on “Blue”

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