Heather Sager

Heather Sager is an Illinois-based author of poetry and short fiction. Her recent writing appears in SurVisionThe Fabulist Words & ArtDoor Is a JarDM du JourSein und WerdenBluepepperWords & Whispers, and other magazines. 


When my friend taught me about painting,
he set up a projector in his studio
and we traced out Mount Shasta’s outlines 
from a photo. That stark, 
lonely crater near the rising peak.
The lone wilderness. 
It was a daytime photo—
suitably grand, blue sky.

In a lucid dream,
I returned to the mountain.
There was a mid-of-the-night, 
luminous aura.
The moon’s disc shone on the peaks.
Purple sky.
Twilit colors cascaded the snowy mountain’s sides.
The white, frosty cone.
I noticed 
the jagged black wolf’s-teeth 
of trees around the scene.

I found my brush and started work.
There was no canvas—it was 
just me and the mountain’s rugged contours 
turning vivacious hues under my bristles. 
And the range expanded across the sky and soon,
the mountain stretched across cosmic space and I worked
in a carnival of psychedelic colors.

Floating, flying through the ether, 
Free, full of utter freedom,
Painting a mountain of colors in the sky.

The Diver

The gray cliff,
ragged as a castle’s ramparts,
parts day’s shadow,
as you stand before the old lake
and prepare to dive.

The lake is natural and plumbs
hundreds of miles of lunar deep
reflecting the sky and sun
perhaps only grandly, superficial.
Its real intent to swallow all form
into the cold blue where
we can become lost.
Pulled down dumbly
in a noctilucent undertow.

But I’m not jumping
and you are and it’s bold
your intent to do so,
to jump without a care for what I feel
(I fear the risk, I fear you being hurt)
And you hand me your watch
and I see your bold face—and you turn
and, muscular, you dive

You are leaving me
(and when you are someone else, 
will leave again)
I watch your hands split the surface 
of the water body
and am amazed.

Suddenly my fear is shaken, abandoned.
I imagine, with great ferocity,
that deep inside the lake a crack in the earth
leads to a cave and then
a path, unexpectant and wild,
rushing out to the freedom of the great blue sea.


I went into the cinema last night
You and I were there
It was our last kiss,
unfolding right before my eyes
Then they threw me out
And I wandered on the street
out where there weren’t any stars.

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