Define the color blue.
Surely, you would mention the sky,
but there are so many shades
you might be lying.
Blue is not a color, but a sound—
sobs echoing down a hospital hall,
or a dark alley still wet with rain.
Blue is the blood that stills
on its way back to those tributaries
of lung, the spaces where songs are born.
She misses his hands,
how they held her body close,
how his fingers knew every note of her.
Their warmth could melt music
from the iceberg absence of music,
frozen in that sea of moments
between every breath.
One bent string could send
the stars into a blurring swoon.
One B minor seventh
and everything felt wet
between her pentatonic thighs.
They will remember his voice,
his crushed velvet visage.
They’ll make pilgrimages to Indianola
to place thorny suede on his grave.
They’ll stand on the same streets
he walked as a boy, where he watched
a man dragged like an animal
and lynched in the square.
They will remember his heart
like a river delta with sunlight sequins.
But they’ll never know the music
of his hands, how a flourish of sound
could feel like fingerprints
left on her spine, a ghostly residue
everyone mistakes for blues
because their sadness can’t be defined.
Jay Sizemore hates when you call writing a hobby. His work has appeared here or there, mostly there. He’s had a lot of time to change his mind about everything. Currently, he lives in Nashville, TN, or does he even exist?