It is October 

a world of dark 


a promise of 

many frosts. 

Early cold;

it bites 

at my cheeks, 

my hands, 

treating me 


Hair recently cut 

tickles my eyebrows 

the tops of my

stinging ears.

In the convenience store 

picking sour candies 

and beer, 

my reflection 

in the glass refrigerator door;


especially next 

to you, 

my whole 

being pulled taught, 


at the bright beauty 

of us under the fluorescents. 

A large, guiding hand 

on my shoulder. 

Fingertips on back.

Holding hands,

frozen breath 

bouncing ahead

we go into the night.

I do not 

deserve this, 

the hot twinge 

of bruises under 

my skin,

being kissed 

in an elevator, 

lapping up

the seconds long ride

but if it is here 

to steal,

it is mine.

sand hills

Heather Whited is originally from just outside Nashville, Tennessee, and after many changes of her major, somehow graduated from Western Kentucky University on time in 2006 with a degree in creative writing and theater. After a few years working and traveling that saw her hanging out on no fewer than three continents and gave her the chance to try vegetarian haggis, Heather returned to Nashville to obtain a Master’s degree in education. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches in the public schools and at Portland State University. She has been published in several literary magazines. When not writing, she plays on a killer trivia team, beats her friends at board games, spends time with her dog, does not go camping, ever, and tries not to think too much about the vegetarian haggis.