PoetryA Little Blue Light

April 15, 2019
Poem by Jessica Kagansky
Graphic By Stefano Cagnato


The power went off at eight
pm, right after we cleared away
the plates, bits of shepherd’s pie
still clinging to the white edges.
The candles are on, a burgundy
fills the house, rich and nostalgic,
as if I had just invented something
deeply mechanical in the tired,
frightened kitchen. I sit with my head
against my knees looking
at the stove; we lit the lower
right burner ring, and I’m looking
at the blue light sideways, feeling distinctly
that I’d like at that moment to endlessly fall
into something black and quiet, like a hole,
but softer, like the very moment you go to sleep,
over and over, but perceptible.
A day later I look out at the sky
and it’s white at ten pm,
a look of meek shame
after death. People walk
with flashlights among wooly firs
and stoic oaks, black and leafy
against the apologetic breeze.
I’ve done enough, it seems
to say, and now you can sleep,
now you can sit with blue lips and
remember how you shook
on the couch, sirens flashing red
and yellow stripes in the windful dark
through the blinds—remember
how you sashayed up to the bathroom
to hear the gale, your hands clasped
for the third time in your life
to pray for stillborn morning.

Jessica Kagansky is a writer and a lawyer. Her poetry has been featured in The Brooklyn Review, Madison Review, Tulane Literary Review, FORTH, and Minetta Review. She lives in New York.