Ash Tandoc


have you ever watched
the skies above elysium?
the skies love on different sides of the earth

on one side of the world,
the mellow shades of azure
are cut sharply with royal hues of somberness
poisoned with the spider-webbing sage of jealousy
at the thieving dandelions
rooted in the land, a place they cannot go
attempting to purloin the golden topaz
the skies claim for themselves
that topaz; the only value the
skies feel entitled to
yet refuses to face the slip their grasp

on the other side of the world,
the darkened spectrum
of midnight fusing their longing
with everlasting space
a lone lover with no shame
in their rosy vulnerability,
covered in titanium clouds
that obscure their eyes
waiting for the subdued indigo
that promises to meld with
those peach wounds;
a guarantee of protection

do the skies of elysium
contain the first love?
the first love tinged with acid
and the other filled with promise

do we ever see the skies
and hope to find any love in any color?


i used to rewrite the world
in which everything was
a lone, glowing metropolis
in every isolated landscape

where the coastline marries
the waves with ivory, unmarred sand
where the manta rays dance to the rhythm of the waves
against the beaten, bronzed cliff face
and i can stand from the cliffs
to the sea to travel

to a place where the utopia
is confined with glass towers
and the claws of the city
are painted with neon nail polish
embellished with jewelry
of wine and snow

i let the snow drift me away
to midnight deserts
of amber crushed rock
and racing, shooting stars
looking like they could rain
their brilliance on the dust storms
breathing, almost choking on the acid air

i reach up and latch onto a star
perched on the burning heart
trailing my fingers
through the cosmos

kissing stardust
circling the rim of combustion

i blink and wince
at the ache in my legs
paralyzed, immobile
yearning to walk somewhere
other than my
wandering mind

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