BLUE

by Margaret Erhart

That upstairs bedroom with the south light, the winter light, bluing the walls. The blue light falling just so on the accumulation of time, luck, and calcium we call whalebone. A chair caught in that light. The corner of a piece of paper containing the precursors to these words—the ancestors of this present language that I am speaking, writing, now.
I painted the floor turquoise, the walls a color called mother-of-pearl. In mother-of-pearl, at the center of all our thoughts and deeds, is blue. Blue is idea, blue is gauntlet under which we pass; blue is what my mother’s eyes were and saw in the moment before she ceased to breathe. Blue is the first sight, and the last. It is the expansion of what we are born from toward what we die into.

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