Blue

The playmat is in the grass and I cannot
   stop looking

at the most unnerving shade of blue

My baby plays his tambourine so maybe
the whole thing
   is nothing

But like leeches to the toes I cannot
   suck it dry

This blue

That makes me see words in the shape
   of a wishbone

So now, when I cut into dead flesh
behind my lower lip,
   I find the minute I lost last month

So now, when I see the beetle in the grass
   I believe I can kill it with a look and leave

the magnifying glass around my lamp
   because it was such a precious gift

Home is blue

and blue is my bed when the night puts
   rocks in my pillow

Before I can even count the bruises
I’ll be exchanging notes with
   the respiratory therapist

The hall will smell like Pine-Sol
   Albuterol will give her energy

And when I wake up I’ll be standing
   bedside

Looking down at my body like it
could maybe pour love into memory
   and make it real

Looking for answers in a sea of nothing
   because I have nowhere else to go

before I see nothing

before I see blue

And blue is red now because blue cannot be
   beautiful anymore

even though for so long
   blue meant she was looking at me

I lost count of the questions I tallied

with the cuts behind my lower lip
   because they didn’t feel important anymore

after blue claimed hate and red
   softened

After red became my talisman
   and I couldn’t carry much else

Red replaced the baby I carried
   like a loose leaf

and took more from me than I gave
   to it

And takes everything still, but now in bits
   and pieces

The worst thing about it is
   I will never see blue like I used to

Laura Faith blends traditional forms of poetry in the modern voice and style of performance poetry and writes on the topics of identity formation, trauma, compounded grief, new motherhood, and spirituality. She is the author of the YA novel, Amanda Phake: The First Phake ID, published in September 2010, and the poetry collection, A Convergence, So to Speak, published in September 2019. Her poem, “Cure All,” appeared in Z Publishing House’s California’s Best Emerging Poets 2020 anthology, and her poem, “If Holden Caulfield Were a Mother,” was accepted for forthcoming publication in Narrative Magazine. She received a BA in French and Francophone Studies from UCLA, as well as a Single Subject Credential in English and a Master’s in Teaching from UC Irvine. Laura lives in Redondo Beach, CA, with her husband, Matthew, and son, Sly, and teaches English, French, and Creative Writing to K-12 and college students year-round. You can follow her poetry on Instagram and Facebook at @poems_by_laura.

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