Cobalt Tears

Blue tulips in April are mine.
I have claimed them all as my own.
I allow them to cleave the ground
you watch them grow from,
every act of agriculture
a wayward rebellion
beneath a forgiving sun.

I am at this moment the devil’s gift
at communion, the air you take
as you swallow bread and wine.

Divine is the art you attempt
with blades and vases, an army of colors,
when the only one that concerns me is
as blue as the parrot’s plumage.

The parrot suffers from insomnia and says,
The end is nigh. Unusual words, perhaps,
for an avian protagonist. Green is
the color of Christmas wrapping paper
carefully folded on the ends so that
what is square is covered in a closing
of triangular flats. Every toy for a boy
is a train and every toy for a girl is
a doll, except when it is not.

And when all else fails, like a plane
losing altitude, like a baker who knows
the very second to remove the loaves
from the oven, the difference in toys
does not matter, they are a testament
to something rooted in the past.
In your eyes, a wink of blue
and the spring leaves of my very own
flower come alive.

And I allow one more minute, a few seconds
too long, and like the thick skin
of a baguette over-baked, I think to myself
that over time you will grow solid
and unbreakable. All the while your petals
grow loose and fall to the ground.

This poem appeared in East by Northeast, September 2020.

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