Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview


I am in love with the self-possessed scrap of Florida sky from my occluded kitchen window—what a wonderful way to be propertied!—and I think this is the spreading feeling my ancestors must have had when they looked up and took the name down for themselves. You see, I cannot think of Blue without thinking of my grandmother, without thinking of my grandfather who I only knew through the static of the VHS tape he sent me because he had never been taught to write. This is the spirit with which I was poured into the world: blue was my first language, the ink my mother bathed me in, christened blue-black girl—my blue-black brother crying, crying. Blue is my lens; the pastoral violence of Virginia childhood lulled to a swollen yawning innocence when blanketed in this color. And I cannot write about blue without writing about Billie, without writing about swaying to the coppery rust of her voice on the patio under a broken fingernail of moon with you.