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.”
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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 keithmgaboury.com.