Mary Mackey

One day
without warning
everyone in the world
turned blue
not the pale
washed-out blue
of a summer sky
or the gray-blue
of old silk
but full turquoise
bright and hard as
a Navajo stone
set in silver
at first there was a mass panic
governments fell
commerce collapsed
immigration officials went
into shock
and were found wandering along
fortified borders
singing snatches of old
Lawrence Welk tunes
on battlefields all across
the planet
blue soldiers
ran screaming from each other
no one knew who to shoot
no one knew who to hate
the enemy was suddenly
gorgeous and familiar
as the palm of one's own
in Brazil
three abandoned children
from a cardboard favela
walked unrecognized
through the biggest shopping
mall in Rio
and were accidentally
presented with promotional balloons
in Berlin
five Turkish families
sat on benches in the Zoo
for most of the afternoon
unnoticed and undisturbed
in Miami
a Haitian cab driver
was inadvertently hired
to teach advanced French
at an exclusive
girls' school
as time passed,
the confusion deepened
landlords had to be sedated
real estate agents were found
curled in the fetal position
around For Sale signs
in Chicago alone
over 200 loan officers
attending a convention
at the airport Hilton
suddenly took Jesus as
their savior
but for lovers
blueness was a gift
the world around them
opened up
blossoming and blossoming
like a great, blue cornflower
innocent and strange
they lay in each others arms
blue lips to blue lips
blue breasts to blue breasts
making long, blue love
and when the blue nights
came down at last
and the blue sunsets
hovered over their beds
their blue laughter could be heard
as soft as silver bells
as they whispered to each other
those magic words:

© 1995 by Mary Mackey

Mary Mackey is the author of four books of poetry and eight novels. She served as president of the West Coast branch of PEN from l989-92. Her most recent collection of poetry is entitled The Dear Dance of Eros (Fjord Press).