The Hill at the Bottom of the Stars
Seven silhouettes stand atop the coal black of a hill against the claire de lune of town before sinking down to the icy ground to let the swelling tide of a million pinhole lights reflect in our eyes. Frosted blades of grass crunch beneath our bodies as we pile together, heads against shoulders, arms at sides, hearts to hearts. Taurus rears beside the shield-bearer Orion, while the hounds gallop at the feet of their master through the doldrums of a cosmic ocean. Lying beneath the shimmering swarms of distant suns, under pouncing Leo and leaping Lynx, I realize how the fish must feel as they slumber at the bottom of the sea, streams of plankton adrift above their lidless gazes as they roll with the gently crawling currents.
Joshua Ward is a senior at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia; he is working towards a major in wildlife conservation and a minor in creative writing. He has previously been published in Silhouette, the school’s literature and arts magazine. He hopes to continue developing his work throughout his time in the wildlife field, with the goal of publishing compilations of his nature poetry and wildlife photography; until then he can often be found combing the woods for birds early in the morning or mucking around in streams finding salamanders.