Blue feathers


Sometimes I take my
mourning-monocle
from the drawer by my bed
and put it back on,
its glass circle
encased in the blood of wound.

My face muscles grip it in the
perpetual,
contorted,
wince,
needed to keep it in place.

Its black, silk string hangs
like a bell-pull
to summon demons.

Through it I see life in
tans.

Grief and loss is
like a blood-ringed monocle
through which the blue feathers
seem tan.

Tan is desert.
Tan is mocha.
Tan color. But barely.

Reading a murder mystery one day,
I remember the author
describing the murderer
as having a tan bedroom.
That tan bedroom, she said,
was an easy indicator of his pathology.

Deserts are tan
because they are not green.
Not blue.

Grief and loss need not even be
local to time’s demands.
It can be a loss decades ago experienced,
hung even with cobwebs
like Mrs. Havisham’s dining room.

A tilted,
desiccated
cake.

A gentle mouse.

White icing, turned tan.
White dress, turned tan.
White hope, turned tan.
For a while.

When I am wearing this
mourning-monocle of mine,
I mourn the loss of this and that
and it hurts like it did when it happened.
The death, the betrayal, the mistake, the lies,
the manipulations, the theft.
It hurts like that first time.

So when I look through that blood-rimmed monocle,
at the world,
all is see is a tan world.
Blue feathers turned tan.

So the mourning-monocle
goes back in the desk
so that I can see blue feathers again.
And the colors of the icons.

“Love what is” they say.
And I agree,
for what else is there to do
but hate.

And hate is so tiring.

Loving what is can be so hard
when what is, is painful.
But I remain convinced
that blue feathers
would not be so beautiful
had they not
at some time
briefly,
seemed tan.

The art of life seems not to
be about cheerfulness.

The art of life seems to
be about limiting the
use of a bloody monocle,
while keeping it at hand.

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