Heather Lang Cassera

The Desert Teaches Us How To Wait

Monsoon season calls
for us to drop everything,
to listen to the thunder,
a shattering sound
too low to be any
bone-china plate.

Looking out, you call me
firecracker, honey locust,
tranquil pond,
names stolen
from paint swatches,
trying them all on
as if you’re the bedroom wall
and as if this is how
you might find
the next version of me
you could live with.

The lightning outside
looks like skeletons
that have fallen
out of our closets,
and buried themselves,
and then grown
in their own unpredictable ways

like vessels
that has been capsized
but never captured.

I hope the power goes out,
but it does not.
I ask you to describe the rain,
but you do not.
You also talk a little too loudly,
but I remind myself
that someday I will miss this.

For now, I want to live
in a world where we are okay
with one thing meaning another
and then another;

where whales might swim past my window;
where we could accept Ginsberg’s spontaneity
and revisions;
where the singular sound
of raindrops might be separated out,
but still be together;
and where there is some room,
however small,
left here and left just for us.



Heather Lang Cassera holds an MFA in Poetry with a Certificate in Literary Translation. In 2017 she was named Las Vegas' Best Local Writer or Poet by the readers of KNPR’s Desert Companion. Her poems have been published by or are forthcoming in The Normal School, North American Review, Pleiades, South Dakota Review, and other literary journals, and have been on exhibit in the Nevada Humanities Program Gallery. Heather curated Legs of Tumbleweeds, Wings of Lace, an anthology of literature by Nevada women, funded by the Nevada Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts. Her chapbook, I was the girl with the moon-shaped face, was published earlier this year. She serves as World Literature Editor and book reviewer for The Literary Review, Faculty Adviser for 300 Days of Sun, and Co-Publisher for Tolsun Books. At Nevada State College, Heather teaches Composition, Creative Writing, World Literature, and more. www.heatherlang.cassera.net