November wind swirls the beach
up into our faces, our eyes narrowed:
yours a blue of summers ago,
a time before the beginnings of this life,
mine locked on yours.
You thrust one hand deep
into you pocket, the other arm
around me, and I burrow
as far into your chamois shirt
as I can, out of the wind’s slashing steel.
I’m cold and warm together,
or at least not minding the cold.
Years later, nothing is left but winter,
since the endless stretches of empty time
erode from memory the shelter
of your arm across my shoulders,
your heartbeat against my cheek.
Anne Britting Oleson has been published widely in North America, Europe and Asia. She earned her MFA at the Stonecoast program of USM. She has published two chapbooks, The Church of St. Materiana (2007) and The Beauty of It (2010). Another book, Counting the Days, is scheduled for release next year.