Do you remember that book on
Georgia O’Keeffe? The one that sat
on top of the table in the
little cabin tucked away,

christened with lake spray
and musty wood. You said
                                                        “I really
want to kiss you right now,” a gust
of wind pushed through your chest
that made the white curtains heave.

You were:
a kitten learning to use its limbs
touching the soft carpet
so gently with its paws

a tender kiss of a breeze dancing
home to embrace her soft linen

my breath breathing outside
my chest, in your curved kiss
of a smile as you said
                                           “I love
the sound of the wind when it
blows through the trees at night.
It reminds me of that time I tripped
on acid.”

It’s poetic and you knew this,
because parts of you were up there
breathing with your cardinal chest,
looking down at me with eyes
all soft and blue jay feathered.

You drifted asleep, cradled between
the orange and brown of the worn plaid
couch. The moon pulled back
the tides of Lake Wahbekanetta
in the same way I tucked your fiery hair
behind your ears. Your head nested
in the nook of my neck,

you awoke and pecked
my cheek as the woodpecker pecked.
So I prayed with that frail bird
and we bowed into the wood—
chipping at your flesh,
plucking every breath
you took like petals from the pages
of that book
                             I wish you’d remember.



Alyssa Peterson is a member of Helicon’s prose staff, and a sophomore from Viborg, South Dakota, studying English and sociology. Her passions include line dancing, dogs wearing cowboy hats, homoerotic subtext, and cracking open a cold Kombucha with the boys.