Three Poems by Heather Lang-Cassera

beneath the snow
we leave our words

like flowers
among strangers
newly made

I’ve known the winter sky,
a feathered creature,

the wilderness wrapped around it.
The night is not
as dark as we make it.

It waits for me, tundra-footed and tender.

Perhaps we could witness the sound
of sandalwood
like a birth-year resting against
cage beneath collarbone,

the fog like a mane
brushing, by happenstance,
against one’s own cheek.

Beyond the whimper of fire,
I will call for you,

this viscous memory walking barefoot in this
fragile morning.

Hunger lives within
the creases of my hands, never
quite knowing the patience
of need.

The memories I have forgotten,
the dorsal fins of freshwater fish,
long ago became the silver

of rafters above a home
ever in invocation, and then
never again.

In this modest light, I don’t need to be everywhere,
like a metronome,
a rhythm, the firefly starlight,
like toothmarks left again.

The unrequited look
to tomorrow, feather
and wind in the unexpected.
You already have your own
marrow, bone and brilliance,
your ribcage and respite.
We are not to decide
lock-stepped meanings
of anything sky-written
and beginning to disappear,
unkept, already so we cannot
understand. We trace small,
wing-shaped silhouettes
before moonset, shadow
puppets of the sycamore.

About the Poet
Heather Lang-Cassera is a 2022 Nevada Arts Council Literary Arts Fellow, a Tolsun Books publisher, a lecturer with Nevada State College, a 300 Days of Sun Faculty Advisor, and a Clark County, Nevada Poet Laureate Emeritus. She is the author of Gathering Broken Light (Unsolicited Press, 2021), which was written with the support of a Nevada Arts Council grant and won the NYC Big Book Award in Poetry, Social/Political.