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purple bells by Isabel de Andreis

Updated: Jun 3

the two purple bells are turned

towards the sun—listening—my

older sister, not someone I’ve met

before, bends her gaze down and

into a book—left to right to

left to right—I see a question in

her features the sun has gone her

ringtone goes off where are you

walking? she inquires laughs the

sun comes and goes quickly my

sister walks past me stumbles

slightly I support her gently

in my thoughts but not

in the physical world my older

sister has departed I hope she finds

happiness and mean it the purple

bells are still tilted persistently

towards something that could

be they are inflexible but not

altogether unrealistic I must admit I

sit beside them now a pile of meat

imitating green and purple tissue

pervaded by bright light since

one second ago (a light

that does not shine through me) I

am unmoved and unpenetrated as

the transparent bells are unringingly

shaken by the breeze my sister has

departed and I am warmth-blocked

by a large cloud once again I will

follow the example of the purple

bells for a while I sway as I feel the

breeze but do not become see-

through as far as I can tell I

temporarily persist nonetheless

tilting like the bells a trio left to right

to left to right with no question in

our features my ringtone goes off

where are you walking? says he I’m

swaying I reply I love you says the

smiling voice I’ll see you soon say I

having broken the rhythm I walk

and walk disharmoniously while the

two inflexible semi-transparent

bodies remain swaying and swaying

I walk they sway they sway and I walk


Isabel de Andreis is a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge. Her poems have appeared in Popshot Quarterly, Poetry Wales, Orbis, and other magazines and journals.


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