It’s a yearner’s
sky, cold and high. I am
where I should not be,
the park at dusk, retrieving old dangers
in the hues at the indigo edge of the spectrum.
Just a moment left of light, deep into the Prussian
now. What began in simple cerulean and a hint
of periwinkle turned a crepey shade,
that tinge beneath the eye
I wish to shield, the color of the shift I cover
my absence with, my lifelong goneness, a sham, my shimmy
dress, a postnatal blue. The taint
I wore at birth crept from toes to lips. Mucus in
the throat: cyanotic little fish, drinker of mother’s
blood and lover of amnion, a sapphire
suctioned clean and dreamed, resuscitated whole
and human, a breather, oxidized into an urban
dark spared from itself by the blink of street-
lamps just as a sharp-shinned
hawk apprehends a chipmunk, soon to be thrashing
red in the ravine.
JOY JACOBSON is poet-in-residence at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University. Her poems have appeared in Smartish Pace, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Examined Life, and other journals, and she was a winner of Health Affairs’s 2015 Narrative Matters Poetry Contest. She has had residencies at Vermont Studio Center, the MacDowell Colony, and Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. She lives in Brooklyn.