Anthony DiPietro - Poetry
My Mother Repaints the Room Where Her Mother Died
by Anthony DiPietro
as it dries, we try
to name the color. my mother’s
husband says hypnotism,
same purple hue of the halo
he sees in narcoleptic seizures.
my mother says tranquility, the color of virgin mary’s
coat, and of a soap she used when
she bathed us as babies.
my father’s view is that grapes go blue like that
if they’re not plucked when plump.
the september his grandmother
died, her back deck in eagle park reeked
of rotten ones. my fashion photographer
brother disagrees, insists this
is the shade of shredded denim threads.
displeased at the friction, to say the least,
my other brother drives to a nearby bridge
and parks underneath. see the steel beams?
it’s the color of these. oh but this is not the bridge
you mean at all, his wife says. you mean the sound
of chris isaak hitting his
wolf-howl note on the bridge of “baby did a bad, bad thing.”
their son says, no, think of the statue
of liberty, or her shadow if she leaned
and fell in the harbor at dusk. no one has asked
what I see, but I say
blue like the mustang I never bought, speeding
through a green light in december.
blue like the belly of dad’s boat, like dad’s
first truck that none of us remember.
my mother’s mother
has no voice now, of course, but she might
say: some of you wear blindfolds willingly. some
afternoons were dark when I climbed the long stairs to my room.
sometimes there’s so little light
and we can’t tell just where it comes from.