Heather Sager is an Illinois-based author of poetry and short fiction. Her recent writing appears in SurVision, The Fabulist Words & Art, Door Is a Jar, DM du Jour, Sein und Werden, Bluepepper, Words & 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 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.