Pale Picasso Blue
I didn’t know I was blue,
until I heard her sing.
I was never aware so much
had been lost
even before I was born.
There was so much to lose
even before I knew
what it meant to choose.
living blue unconfessed, blue
in concealment, I’ve lived all my life
at the plinth
of greater things than me.
Morning is greater
with its firstborn light and birdsong.
Noon is taller, though a moment’s realm.
Evening is ancient and immense, and
night’s storied house more huge.
But I had no idea.
And would have died without a clue,
except she began to sing. And I understood
my soul is a bride enthralled by an unmet groom,
or else the groom wholly spoken for, blue
in ardor, happy in eternal waiting.
I heard her sing and knew
I would never hear the true
name of each thing
until I realized the abysmal
ground of all things. Her singing
touched that ground in me.
Now, dying of my life, everything is made new.
Now, my life is not my life. I have no life
apart from all of life.
And my death is not my death,
but a pillow beneath my head, a rock
propping the window open
to admit the jasmine.
I heard her sing,
and I’m no longer afraid.
Now that I know what she knows, I hope
never to forget
how giant the gone
and immaculate the going.
How much I’ve already lost.
How much I go on losing.
How much I’ve lived
all one blue. O, how much
I go on living.
Spoken For by Li-Young Lee
or simply new shades of blue
writing love poems across across sky?
Our pool is still blue but a few leaves
have fallen, floating on the surface
of summer. The other swimmers
went home last week, tossed
their faded bathing suits aside,
so my daughter and I are alone
in the water which has grown colder
like a man’s hand at the end of
a romance. The lifeguard is under
her umbrella but her bags are packed
for college. We are swimming against
change, remembering the endless
shores of June: the light like lemonade,
fireflies inside our cupped hands,
watermelon night. We are swimming
towards the darkness of what
is next, walking away from the sounds
of laughter and splashing, towels
wrapped around the dampness of our loss.
The Last Swim of Summer by Faith Shearin
Colors swirl around in you,
blues and greens, mostly,
like rivers, like flames, or a planet,
thick and vibrant.
To you they are beautiful.
To someone they are survival.
Outside a child walks by, crying.
Not your child.
You don’t have to respond.
The colors need framing.
Crying, and walking.