I can’t remember the color, what shade

of blue—periwinkle, indigo, more purple-shaded

green or black; I really don’t remember him

at all…

just the key—“So plain,” he said,

like me—tiny next to the other keys. Of course

I tried it—he knew I would; I saw what he had known

I’d see.

My sister, in the highest tower, looks

for help across the blue-burned land, as down below

I try to pray and all I see is blue:


the sea at night, mold, geraniums, veins, the wings

of birds, the blade, nothing. I see him coming

in a violet haze; I kneel, my white dress pools

around me, the blade is lifted—

it comes down

and down. He falls, his head in my lap, the dark

blood seeping into everything—my dress, my skin

one red—and all I see is my sister in her once-

white dress, her lips tight as a sword.

We light

the fire, and into those hungry flames we throw

robes, hangings, the kitchen knife, sheets, chairs,

keys, anything we can; everything is scarlet, garnet,

crimson, rose, and so, in that last bright moment,

is he.




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