Blue Ruin

He forgets I am simmering, a blue
French onion soup forgotten on the stove.
Or maybe I am the apron he never wears,
the blue-eyed girl, now woman, now
stale perfume, a blue knob on the blue
door he never opens. Maybe after twenty years,
the shimmering moon outlining
my hips is just a shadow and my fingers
in his mouth, just a distraction—blue
nightgown, blue robe, blue koi
in the pond look black without sunlight.
Maybe it should be enough to be his
aftermorning, his second best, blue
gun in my shivering, blue mint, blue
mind. Maybe I should have been born
happy, a blue velvet lady riding
the ferry and noticing all those
disappearing stars, all those little deaths
across a blue night, blue nebula
holding the sea I ride in on as if all my blue
could be contained, drawn into the sky.

Kelli Russell Agodon is the author of Hourglass Museum (White Pine Press, 2014) and The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice, which she coauthored with Martha Silano. Her other books include Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room, Small Knots, Geography, and Fire On Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry which she edited with Annette Spaulding-Convy. Kelli is the co-founder of Two Sylvias Press and was the editor of Crab Creek Review. When not writing or editing, she can be found in her small Northwest seaside town mountain-biking, paddleboarding, or walking her golden retriever, Buddy Holly. See more at