The Farthest Thing

“None of them knew the colour of the sky.”
Stephen Crane 1871-1900

It’s not so much blue
as a collection
of layers of
semi-gloss paint
like onion skin,
each layer
a slightly different definition
of the word “blue.”

There is a bite to it,
with crooked teeth,
that leaves a funny wriggly
arcing mark
on your soul,
like a rainbow.
Because things that hurt this much
are also beautiful
and vice versa.

It smells of crows’
of jet fuel
of car exhaust
and velvet night
and scintillating morning.

It lives in our hearts
as dreams do
and carves out little bits,
to leave more room
for hunger.

It is a drug
and even though
it covers us all
and is so big,
so blue,
there is never quite enough
to go around
and we chase after it.

It makes us
want to live
under it
and we die of exposure,
a voice
for each enamel layer
of blue
singing in our ears
of glory
of eternal life
until the night comes
and the breathy voice
of things that are too big for us.

It wraps around our wrists
like bangles
like bandages for cuts
we don’t know we have yet
and it sucks us dry
and wide open.

Too much beauty
is dangerous.
Too much sky
too close
too far around
can drive us mad.

Madness comes at us
from the side
as we stare upwards,
unable to break away,
like frogs in thrall
to a flashlight.

It is the farthest thing
from human
we will ever see.

~ Kelsey Andrews

Kelsey is 25. She writes both fiction and poetry, and has done so almost as long as she can remember. She has been published in a few anthologies and periodicals. Born in Calgary, raised in Grande Prairie, she is currently living in the Lower Mainland and missing big sky. The Farthest Thing was written shortly after returning from a Christmas spent back home in Alberta.

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