Jul 25, 2022

Poems by Eileen R. Tabios


Stone on finger drops
dissembler sky with a lie—
the color “azure”

azure is defined as impossible

Perceptions of color depend on vision, light, and interpretation, such that an understanding of color involves physics, physiology, and psychology. To see the sky on a ring’s gemstone is to experience desire. To see the sky as pale is to feel longing. To feel longing is to have known the many scales of loss, from a genteel pain to almost-obliterating anguish. Truth would be better served if your ring’s gemstone was a small fragment of a mirror. Raise your hand before your face and you will see your eyes. But reflections require vision. Often, we cannot maintain a gaze with a mirror—it is impossible for regret to hide and, thus, avoid discernment. Azure is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the blue color of the clear sky.” Thus, azure means “impossible”—the sky is never clear. If our world exists because color is a narrative, it is almost impossible to avoid the existence of gods.


Survive shadow worlds
by letting tears reign and rain—
see how rainbows bring color

a shadow transcends reflection to create a threshold

He trained himself by the standards of an inheritance he did not want. If he wished, he could eradicate anybody who shared the planet with him. But if he did, he would be invisible because no one would see him. He knew the mistake of shadows rebelling against merely reflecting when their existence depended on others to reflect. Mourn with tears when no one is looking; tears improve vision. See. See enough to see the downside, like oligarchs who can’t exist without their ostentation witnessed by others. “Oligarchs need not just to be but be seen as filthy rich, a need that rises with economic wealth,” advised psychologists when the world warred against Russia’s elite after Russia invaded Ukraine. “No more shopping / in Hashtag Milano // No more partying / in Hashtag SaintTropez // No more diamonds / in Hashtag Antwerp.” In a world where reality functions on hashtags, shadows also become thresholds to alternatives.

Poems by Jeffrey Side

THE SAMENESS OF DAYS You hold the peasants at bay. You have your work cut out. You should make enough, as the winter is coming. Your slivery...