The Lemur’s Ear is Green and Blue


Walking back and forth along the fence. Back and forth and the colors are beautiful ambers and deep teal. The light of the world is a well. Almost night already. The dog a bouquet of tufts. The ears go where the wind. Baby blues drift out the fire escape.

The PA asked her if she wanted me to leave the room. I knew I was not to influence her answers. I looked away. Do you want to die? She paused. Do you wish you were dead? The PA said. Do you think your family would be better off? If you were dead? Do you want to hurt yourself? How kindly and sincerely he asked these questions. How they howled through me, my eyes fixed on a poster of Goofy.

My crone hair flowing, and my petty little wounds. All my stagnant inner bogs, my wet and unlit fuse. My metals heavy—as a hog with a human face. Out here wan and pinkish. In the blazing manzanitas. Plucking wind from skin and walking, often softened as a yam.

I’m all made up of marks. Like implosive skittish hares. The lemur’s ear, I whispered, is green and blue…

I am sane and say it, say it:  the lemur’s ear is green and blue. The lemur’s ear is green and blue. Calmed by nonsense, patted by platitudes. But it’s a mantra, isn’t it. Say it. And all the while the horizontal scourge is in me, of me, is me—dry-grassier than the dry grass of my children’s never-ending hair, my rat-tail attempts a sectioning, an ordering of air. Googling home haircuts & talking power ballads—see: I can laugh! I am ashamed!

“If there is harm in the poem, let it harm the self most.”* Like the pile of old snow I mistook for a car-struck coyote I am here: not great, but not dead, peeling these griefs like pears.

*Note: Douglas Kearney said “If there is harm in the poem, let it harm the self most” in a Q&A I recently heard. I may be paraphrasing. 
Ellen Welcker is the author of Ram Hands (Scablands Books, 2016), The Botanical Garden (Astrophil Press, 2010) and four chapbooks, including “The Pink Tablet” (Fact-Simile Editions, 2018). She lives in Spokane, WA.