Blue, Linnea Schurig
Dana Scully had copper hair and wasn’t afraid
of God or strangeness, but Gillian Anderson’s hair
is blonde so maybe I’m not really sure who
it is that I love. I can make a list that always begins
with Mom and always ends in different places—
sometimes in Grand Rapids where my friend writes
stories that never have characters named after me,
and sometimes in my own mouth when it tastes like her
favorite peppermint tea. She called me last week
after reading an article and reminded me to check
my breasts for bumps. So, I climbed into my bathtub
and pressed my fingers in tight circles around my nipples
until they caught on a pebble, buried in the left
side. A week later a crescent of skin is carved out
and I’m almost disappointed when it’s nothing
because ever since that conversation I burst open
in dreams to expose rows upon rows of pearly tumors
hooked onto my organs like barnacles on a whale’s back.
Knowing that it exists does not cause disease,
but after hearing her voice strung tight with concern
I want to invite my fingers down my throat
and peel skin back with my teeth like tangerines so I can
empty myself of everything that burns.
Fox Mulder pretends that strangeness isn’t frightening
and then Scully got cancer, but my friend
hasn’t watched the show in at least a year
and she turns her head to the side in confusion
when I say we look like them as we search the sky for permission.
About the Author
Claire Fallon, University of Minnesota
Claire Fallon is a junior majoring in English at the University of Minnesota. Literature and writing are her greatest passions and she loves poetry because of the space it offers to the marginalized for understanding their lives and worlds through complex and surprising expression.
About the Artist
Linnea Schurig, Grinnell College
Originally from San Rafael, California, Linnea Schurig somehow ended up in the middle of a cornfield. She is currently a senior at Grinnell College, co-captain of the ultimate frisbee team Grinneleanor Roosevelts, and frequently paints to procrastinate her responsibilities. “Blue” was originally published in the Grinnell Review.