Blue John by Jillian Jasper Dimas
They drank it, my father said
of his father and grandmother.
I thought of beards and heads
hanging by their hair on a wall,
and little talking keys.
What was it, this stuff of old these
Some macabre magic, this blue
did it shine? Iridescent like fish scales?
Or a muddy blue?
“What did it look like?” I asked.
A white mud, pearl sap in a turtle shell,
did it smell blue?
Did the smoke rise up
into your nostrils and fill you with blue?
Did it have the smell of a man,
did it make you sad,
or make you strong?
“What did it smell like?” I asked.
This hoodoo cream!
Acrid snakes snapping into you.
Hard birth and baptism
in the bayou grey.
“Well, what was it made from?” I asked.
Jillian Jasper Dimas has a B.A in English and Creative Writing from Princeton University. Her poems have appeared in Two Cities Review, The Cadaverine, Plain China, and The Nassau Literary Review. She is a Chicagoan living in London with her husband and is currently finishing her first novel.