When Blue Seemed Like a Good Idea
I’ve never been good at opening hearts
or talking to strangers or simply making
my own bed. Some might call this sky blue,
but they wouldn’t be from around here.
Will you move in with me? I asked her
before lattice and fencing, on the stoop
with cigarettes and soft breeze. If you paint
the damn thing, she said, and laughed.
She’d left her husband for a bad tattoo
and a grungy rock band. She left me too.
On that ladder, giddy with a colour from Miami
or some old cartoon, I was shouting to the street.
The fence was too low, and the dog ran away.
The flowers never got planted, though we’d made
a list. If you’re like my neighbours, you’re shaking
your head and calling it an eyesore. I got a tattoo
to match hers. Working long hours, warping
permanence into a blurred design that could
mean anything. I put up the lattice after she
left. Spring on its way. Have you been to Miami?
I could tell you why she left, but when I look
back, I still see her bare arms rising toward me
when I came down the ladder and hugged her
in blue, the reckless music of our cartoon laughter.
Life itself can make our eyes sore.
I don’t know much, but fading is a part of it.
I’m not climbing back up there
to scrape and prime and start again.
Jim Daniels is the author of numerous books of poetry and fiction. “The End of Blessings,” the fourth short film he has written and produced, is currently making the rounds of film festivals, and his poems and the photographs of Charlee Brodsky were displayed in their show, “Beyond the Obvious,” at the Robert Morris University Art Gallery last year.
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