That was the week the grapes were swelling and bruising 
Purple, dust-seasoned. Again 
We filled our pockets until the grapes, sun-burnt
And sun-ripened, burst
Like blood vessels and left wine-dark
Stains running down to our ankles.
Looking down, you said we should play 
Pretend that we were cracked open,
Like so many barrel-chested 
Oaks, hollowed out clean from
Summer lightning storms and I
Said nothing,
Just picked another handful of 
Tender-skinned fruits and let them 
Dissolve red against my puffed-out cheeks, 
Dissolve into a heap of seeds.


Then it was when you traced 
The plane tails cutting slash marks
Through the pale morning sky, and you imagined
Aloud that those long, feathered lines
They leave behind are fraying seams 
For some colossal fingers to grip
The edges of 
And tear open and reveal,
Behind this one,
Another distant sky.
No, you were sure,
Beyond this world, this sky,
The only thing waiting for us
Was a duplicate.


Then there were so many
Hours you saw only
The bulbous veins
In the ivy leaves, the 
Straw-colored, straw-boned
Kicked-in sunflower 
Heads littering the sidewalks
In an explosion of brown and white
Striped seeds and shriveled petals. 
There was nothing
Left on the vine, nothing left
To invent, nothing
To make peace with

There were clouds that 
Crumpled and folded over each other and sagged
Across the sun, there were
Clouds that hung soft and alone,
And, with you, there were skies beyond skies
And nothing beyond that

Writer | Pauline Bissell ’25 |
Editor | Gabby Avena ’25 |
Artist | Isabella Fuster-Crichfield ’26 |