Memoir

A blue bottle can be any shape. It's a good place to keep things. It can be any size, and the things I keep in mine are obvious things like a patch of clear sky on a rainy day, or the broken pieces of the Miles Davis album I had when I was alone all winter in my first apartment with a futon and a stereo, or the guitar on page 86 in the Collected Works of Wallace Stevens, or the blood of my Protestant grandmother, who never really forgave my father for getting my Irish Catholic mother pregnant, nor my older brother for being born.

Grandmother liked me though, let me help dig weeds from her beds of magnificent blue iris. Crazy blue world, spinning away. I got married, that was strange, I stayed married, stranger yet, and my parents both died, which is absurd, and then there is the ocean, and sunrise, and of course bedroom slippers and wristwatches and cancer.

I once had a blue bottle in the shape of Iowa, and another in the shape of Gorecki's Third Symphony. I have one now in the shape of an iris tattooed on my wrist.