• Kaitlyn E. Joyner

Baby Blue Tragedy

You don’t know how to loosen your grip,

Or how to soften your temperament

In this unwelcome era of upheaval.

There is nothing loveable about intrusion.

You’ve been robbed,

But there is no chance of indictment, no culprit,

Only the bitter aftertaste of what was stolen.

You wonder if you would feel better

If there was someone to blame,

If there was a placeholder for the closure

Only an explanation could provide.


Almost like you mourn the dead,

But less selflessly, you mourn hours,

Hours you spent reconstructing yourself

Against the skyline’s opalescent blueprint,

Inventing heirlooms of youth

In the periphery of your ribcage,

Coaxing a supercut out of waning time.

You set laughter, musings, and the pulsing glow

Of neon signs in resin,

Attempting to guard them, like artifacts.


Fueled by impulse, by grief,

You arrange the noises of drunk lovers on the street

Into an ode to what was only half-born;

You are the composer of a shameful testament

To the fragility of the realities we build.

You are left slightly violet,

Marked by premature separation

From ripening habits,

Ones that were just beginning hold you.


Everything feels warmer,

Reaching back over your shoulder

And into the heavenly wasteland of the past,

Its magnetic kiss,

Its ever-present promise that maybe

There could have been more.

“Maybe” stings, “maybe” induces a chronic haze of

Baby blue tragedy,

A haze that makes everything feel sore,

That feeds on shunned daylight.


The moonbeams seem to imitate your dreamscape

Where everything is preserved,

Where there are no “maybe’s”.

The pale incarnations are distant, fading in

And out as you extend your hand.

Night seems to close around you

With a new tenderness.

Residual baby blue melts away

From the curve of your chest cavity,

And you hold the ache in your palm,

Recasting it in a softer light.


Maybe you learn the art of self-preservation, and you lean into the absence.



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