The Adirondack Review
FALL 2017
Congenital Blues, Brooklyn
JOY JACOBSON
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.