December 17

by Gary Percesepe

for jennifer


That winter in Buffalo it would not stop snowing.

I sat in bed looking out the tall window. I'd strung some

Christmas lights on the dresser mirror to cheer me, but the


wind off the lake didn't care. It curled the curtains of this old

house, pushing me deeper under the covers. Snow drifted to  

corners of the yard.  A black Lab romped and drank his water.


When she finally arrived it was like a cello playing inside me.

I became interested in what I might become. In a candlelit room

of  North Pole elves and children's notes she whispered, Stay.


Outside, the furious season, blowing. Faith is a hunger. It took

me a long time to see my life, I've stood on top of myself, looking.

Inside her felt more like home than a visit. The air around her


filled with pictures. She took my hand and led me upstairs to the

bedroom. In the dark house, everywhere we walked burst into

flowers. Her mouth was silky, dark and wet. Her chocolate hair


I put in my mouth. I tasted the white wine on her breath. Peeling

off her socks, I laced my fingers through her toes, stroked her smooth

thighs and calves. In the long night she stole the covers and insisted

it was me. It was morning but neither of us wanted to leave.

That room was like a marriage, mysterious and deep.

I'm saying everything I wanted was in that room.