Mystic Cascades – Mack W. Mani
I still think of him
on these hot days
the way he looked
out in the raw
a misfit seeker
bandanna clad and smiling against
the heady, mystic Cascade heat.
He would take me to explore the rushes
pale purple in the evening valley,
to cruise and roil in the night’s reduction
to slip unseen past gate and rusty border fences,
out where you could see their ships arriving
emerging from the shadowed sky,
coruscating into life like sun upon the water.
Nestled in the currant,
we could pretend they were just passing planes
bound for Chicago or LAX,
we could pretend the world was ours again
our worries cast about like runes
by way of glacier lake
and devil’s canyon.
lost of language, mind, and meaning
its intent and shades of being
temporarily hidden somewhere
in the cigarette smoke,
in the cryptic folds of shifting skin,
in the wild sway of summer night,
in the come-gone scent of slapdash rain.
I remember him as he was then
and sometimes glimpse
him moving still among the trees,
his memory preserved
a Polaroid ghost
double exposed and melded
right into the landscape.
And through the hazy evergreen,
I swear I see his phantom
glowing in the night
like fireworks in the gloom.
Mack W. Mani is an American poet and author. His work has appeared in Neon, Strange Horizons, and The Pedestal Magazine. His screenplay “You and Me and Dagon Makes Three” won Best Screenplay at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in 2018. He currently lives in Portland OR with his husband Jordan Seider.