Studies of Blue Voices

Nancy Eimers

          for my mother


A graph of the boatwhistle call of a toadfish is lovely in blue, like a child’s scribbles.


I imagine our quiet talk printed out as a waveform diagram in two versions, one light and one dark.


The manual says when the printer’s images start to fade, it is time to consider density ––


–– parts that are close together –– difficult to see through –– difficult to understand ––


Let’s keep our voices down –– but why? The other deck chairs might as well be miles away.


At a distance s’s glimmer, lemons, pencil, south, then turning, from signature to inland sea.


I’ll think of the toadfish evermore as blue though it’s mottled yellow/brownish-black


with button eyes like Raggedy Ann’s. Empty of time, empty of loud and empty of soft,


empty of pitch and duration, timbre, speed. Each a button stuck on pause.


Our voices travelled anyway, through time, in one side and out the other. Gone.


No trace of wind that day, the lemons hung each little density of their being there on trees.


In these studies left behind, our voices are blue, not sky or midnight: wild blue yonder blue.


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