Mirage

By Sarah Certa

Lately I’ve been fantasizing about the south-
western desert, the one that lies somewhere between Los Angeles
and Las Vegas, places I’ve never been but think about
every time I slip into my faded denim shorts and torn
white tank top. Heat. It’s the heat that I want, the dry
blue sky heat, blazing on my sand-blasted skin like the mirage
on the horizon. I want to step into the mirage, which is to say
I want impossible things, like heaven, like God, like sex without the mess, the high
without the crash, I want you, I want it all, I want to wear the mirage
like a golden chain around my neck so that you’ll look at me and wonder
if you’re dreaming. Heat will make you
delirious like that, will make your bones
forget that they are bones. But when I imagine actually going to the desert,
I can’t help but feel disappointed, because what if the sky
isn’t as blue as I think it will be? What if my skin cracks
and my eyes burn with sand? Such a tragedy,
that the dream of the thing is so often better
than the thing itself. Which is why I spend more time inside my head
than out of it. It’s warm in here, and I am beautiful even
as I roll out of bed. I am also humble and a good person with an enormous
unselfish heart. I am not lonely. I am kissing you in the backseat of an old Camaro
parked on the side of Interstate 15. My bare feet are hanging out of the window
and you’ve already told me how my wrists make you
feel clean inside. You photograph my hips and you have never
felt this way about anyone. 



Sarah Certa is 24 years old and currently pursuing an MFA through the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appears or is forthcoming in PANK, anderbo, MiPOesias, and Poydras Review, among others. She lives in central Minnesota.

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