The Indicator x The Student: “Skies Beyond Skies”

Pauline Bissell ’25 speaks wistfully about an old relationship in a poem originally published in the Fall 2022 edition of “The Indicator.”

The Indicator x The Student: “Skies Beyond Skies”
In “Skies Beyond Skies,” Pauline Bissell ’25 whimsically depicts a longing for past connections. Art courtesy of Isabella Fuster-Crichfield ’26.


That was the week the grapes were swelling and bruising

Purple, dust-seasoned. Again

We filled our pockets until the fruit, 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 pretend

That we were cracked open too,

Like so many barrel-chested

Oaks, hollowed out clean from

Summer lightning storms and I

Said nothing,

Just picked another handful of

Tender-skinned grapes 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 imagined

Aloud that those long, feathered lines

They leave behind are fraying seams

For some colossal fingers to grip

The edges of,

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 you began

To see 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