? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 2


Barbara Schweitzer


The chicory on the corner of One Forty-six
and Admiral blooms this December one in
Providence; bright blue bells jangle ribald
in the gray spring-less air while black
tires spin heedlessly by them, by the blooming
out-of-season chicory-blue that clashes with the
bruising horizon and the storm coming through.

The first snow is predicted, two to four this
afternoon, this December one afternoon,
bent to fall around the chicory here beside
the cars, light-stopped cars, heart-stopped
ringing of the blue bells in my eyes beside
the street, the so-busy city street, spots of
blue in the drab block hugged between the
sidewalk and the curb, eager on this day
to be sprung, to linger, to bloom, to flaunt, to flash
to bray against the grays, to brazenly ring blue bells
to the highways, to sing unseasonably for the snow
to fling unreasonably into the snowfall its plucky blue
to chant itself a dirge, for soon it will be buried, roots-
first, and then the salt trucks will finish it up,
spraying their briny death into the nor-easterly elixir,
into the whiny depths of yet another late-arriving winter.

It is impossible to remember to forget to
want to share with you the chicory blue
blooming where we have been, but you are
gone like spring, gone before the first snow
plow, never were definite like the blue flower
anyhow, never were true—people are not—
not like this brief splotch of chicory blue,
not delphinium or larkspur or periwinkle or
violet or sky or your eyes—but chicory blue—
on the stripped and tarry block, beside the street
where One Forty-six meets Admiral, at the traffic
stop that changes every one and a half minutes, that
draws me from the blue chicory cups drinking down
the winter storm to the green go-ahead blinking me on.