‘Your Hands Are an Indigo City’ by Sean Thomas Dougherty

“And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.”

—Philip Larkin

hold me up there—
I will miss you
as if through a window
sky
& endless
the roofs & the blue
& saw what they saw
& you leaned your head back
on the rusty swings
shouting & singing
& their falsetto voices
of children
the chorus
at the playground
of wind I caught
carrying a knapsack
where I walked
were an indigo city
& your swollen hands
with those plastic letters
our daughter playing on the floor
& an alphabet
there was the first office
& the doctor’s libretto
& the waiting rooms
after your balance was off
Before a prayer on repeat
at the base of your spine
Before the dark hall
& we traveled for tests
Before the lake, like a black ocean
Before your legs swelled
Before lost teeth
Before the light turned yellow
Before your hands turned blue
Before your hands turned blue
Before the light turned yellow

Before lost teeth
Before your legs swelled
Before the lake, like a black ocean
& we traveled for tests
Before the dark hall
at the base of your spine
Before a prayer on repeat
after your balance was off
& the waiting rooms
& the doctor’s libretto
there was the first office
& an alphabet
our daughter playing on the floor
with those plastic letters
& your swollen hands
were an indigo city
where I walked
carrying a knapsack
of wind I caught
at the playground
the chorus
of children
& their falsetto voices
shouting & singing
on the rusty swings
& you leaned your head back
& saw what they saw
the roofs & the blue
& endless
sky
as if through a window
I will miss you
hold me up there—

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