Am I blue? If you have to ask then you’re probably blue. Billie Holiday asked it. I asked it while climbing a steep hill in the Missouri moonlight. Am I blue? Yes–blue in that indulgent way that is melancholic but also a nice reprieve from the energy of netting joy and complacency, the steady stab of boredom. I am blue like a flat stone under the cold moonlight. I am blue like a Blue Jay feather caught in the slide of gravity. I am blue like a clock that doesn’t tic, stuck in time, blue inertia. I am blue like a low iceberg. Blue breath. Frozen will.
When I reach the top of the hill, there is a ranch-style house with small windows, tiny eyes on a large face. My parents sleep in this vast hollow of land where the woods meet the water and green lichen embroiders the undergrowth.
Am I blue? Yeah, I’m blue. It’s a good song in my heart. A blue refrain. My parents are alive, dreaming. I walk up the hill into a future that has no color. Muted. I feel blue rising though. The lightest of blues fills my throat.
My feet walk in mismatched stride, heavy and light footsteps: Polka and Tango married in blue. It was a good dance, those years when my parents were alive: my dad with his blue-washed work and my mother with her blue-lavender voice.
Am I blue? yeah, blue with a sentimental heart. This is a final blue. It is the kind of blue that comes after a hurricane. I can’t find the moorings except in the watery dregs of blue memory.