Ive never savored the succulent blue hue
that, in saner minds, evokes vanishing-
horizon-point skies and robins eggs
I long to toss from their nests and crack.
Theres something unreal about azure,
an artificial color that smacks, oh-so-subtly,
of Eternal Sleep and the mind tacked down
like the slackening mouth stitched tight in its coffin.
Once I loved a student who was stabbed two hundred times.
Her parents fluffed her gorgeous gold hair,
displayed her wound-riddled body discreetly
in its coffin and posted photos of Kristi around it
at her prom, animated, laughing, concealing
her mouth with blunt-cut crimson nails,
hairspray lacquering her voluminous yellow mane
into high teased masses, a diaphanous black dress
opening over taut calves. I couldnt emotionally fathom it,
I suppose, how unreal she looked, this young girl Id adored
and traded quips with in class, pestered for tips
about my own untameable tresses (Kristi a cosmetologist
at the Hair Hut then). Her eyes seemed glued shut, flesh-tinted, heavy;
her hands rested neatly on a double thickness of slick sheets,
the exquisite blue satin used to cover the holes
extending everywhere, from her neck to her ankles,
none of that trauma evidenced
by the girl in her coffin. Shifting in line
with her sobbing sister, gazing stunned at her lipsticked face,
so serenely set I couldnt guess
where the muscles were that had tightened Kristis full lips,
angular jaw, I knew shed become an object to me,
a robins-egg prettiness I longed to seize in both hands
to feel the depths of her wounds
split open under my fingers.