A Taste of Blue

Cynthia Manick

I tell my father about the way
I collect small things
in the sacs of my heart—

thick juniper berries
apple cores that retain their shape
and the click of shells
that sound like an oven baking.

He presses the mole on my shoulder
that matches his shoulder,
proof that I was not found
at the bottom of the sea.

I also got his feet, far from
Cinderella’s dainty glass slippers—
and fingers, too wide for most

Cracker Jack wedding rings.
I read how some mammals never
forget their young—

their speckled spots, odd goat
cries, or birthmarks on curved
ivory tusks. There must be some
thread of magic there

cooling honey to stone—where
like recognizes like or how
a rib seeks its twin.

More by Cynthia Manick

Things I Will Tell My Children About Destiny

                        You remind them
             of weighted tumbleweeds,
hen-egg brown. Don’t let
                        them take the rag-
             time beneath your skin.
        It stirs earth’s curvature
and a choir
of frogs 
when you enter
             or leave a room. Don’t
             leave a swallow of juice
                  or milk in the fridge.
A body grieved
is a whole new body.
             Give your shadow a name
                        big as a star, see
             yourself out loud.
Pick wild irises                         the best gifts
             roll under a ribcage, leave 
             open mouths splendid.

I like your smile unpenned.

Keep your bird-
             song close, imagine
                     an hourglass full
                         of architects and dreamers,
the first taste of fresh
             scooped ice cream.
                         You will learn to master
                         camouflage among ordinary things— 
             men who spill words
not thoughts, trigger fingers
                         ready
                         to brand loose.

I love your smile unpenned.