The Goddess of Failed Indigo, poem by James R. Whitley

Or putrid ochre. Or simply blue.
Or whatever color most vividly
communicates surrender.

We could have been on a spacious
beach in the Seychelles or sitting in
the silence of a large movie theater
waiting for some picture to appear
on the screen staring blankly at us.

But we were alone in a small room.
Or perhaps the room wasn’t so small,
but we were larger than we seem now.

The air reeked of witch hazel and
acquiescence. Everything there as
clean as forgiveness.

As usual, you were many
contradictory things at once—
mother, antagonist, going, gone.

All those years under your thumb,
I thought you were unbreakable,
able to scoff at threats mere
mortals fear, like emotion.

Now, though admittedly tragic,
cancer has made you beautiful—
so unexpectedly delicate,
so shockingly human.

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Christa Jones