As the blue jay flew
ahead of us through the woods,
you said, from the new
purlieu of adulthood, you know,
its blue is a figment: a mere construct
of feathers and light.
I did know, wanted to say
I did know but did
not say it, having sometime learned
when not to speak; having loved
that bird and its blueness;
having made it yours
since that distant day I held you
up to the sky in woods like these and heard
its blue "skreee" mix with your cry.
Figments spread color between
the broad black outlines of every day,
big fat pigments teasing delight from
the sun’s prism that we hoard and parse:
my favorite always the mystery
of blue, deepening into purple and out,
or circling back
into the powerful ram of red.
All that I know I don’t
know keeps me company
sits with me in a moment of ease
like an old friend.
This current bird leads the two of us
down the leaf-spattered path
landing and taking off
from branch to branch
holding on and letting go,
holding on, letting go, then
darting into what we can never
know: the rest of life.
Nameless, beloved, I watch you watch it
dip wings before pivoting,
vanishing, a flash
of blue, slant
to the sun.