My Blue Affront by Keith Mark Gaboury

My Blue Affront
by Keith Mark Gaboury

Flush out of Kaiser Medical, 
I’m a single mother 
with Bluejay’s cerulean clothed body
a twin to the sky’s wavelength blue.

On a Geary Boulevard block,
a man fresh from the hospital 
in dark denim jeans 
blurts out words that cut,

“your son is so cute!” “I have a daughter 
and Bluejay’s XX chromosomes 
mirror each other 
like my delivery room reflection.”

“You’re hysterical. She must wear pink! 
I’ll tape my pink 
invoice form to her chest.”

I step away across gray concrete,
drive home on a park-lined 
San Francisco street. Hours later
under a baby pink sun, I dress Bluejay
in sapphire blue cotton.

At Trader Joe’s on Geary and Masonic, 
Bluejay sleeps in a stroller 
up and down winding aisles. 

Surrounded by colored fruit,
a woman in a shocking 
pink dress stops us short.

“Your son is so adorable!” “I have a daughter
and Bluejay’s XX chromosomes 
sprout anew on their tree of female growth.”

“You have a brain hemorrhage. 
She must wear pink! I’ll squeeze a grapefruit’s 
pink juices on her.” In a maternal flight, 
I flee from this dripping sting. 

At Ace Hardware on 2nd and Geary,
I look left, look right
in the paint aisle’s color envelopment
for the perfect blue
to paint Bluejay’s bedroom.

We rush past
the concentration of pink shades
where a childless heterosexual couple
brushstrokes toward us. 

“Your son is so precious!” “I have a daughter 
and Bluejay’s XX chromosomes 
jointly sweep across their canvas.” 
“You’re having a stroke.
Do you need help? You need help.” 

While the wife pins me back,
the husband pries open a can
of Baker-Miller pink, douses Bluejay
awake and wailing in pink engulfment.

“Now to pay for our Gender 
Correction Service, we’ll accept
one simple payment
of your next born child.” 

Hear Keith Mark Gaboury recite the poem on the Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast:

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Keith Mark Gaboury earned a M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. He has two full-length poetry collections forthcoming from Kelsay Books and Falkenberg Press. Keith is also the president of the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club. Learn more at

Twitter: @GabouryKeith
Instagram: @keithmgabourypoet

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