Poetry by Erica Bernal-Hanson


Yesterday, I woke up and found
your breath on the back of my neck.
I handed it back to you at dinner,
but somehow you convinced me to leave it in tact.

As I climbed the stairs to my room,
I realized you had slipped your ear into my pocket.
I tried to fish it out, but it bit me-
I had to open my bedroom door with my left hand.

When I walked in, I found a package from you
waiting on my white bedspread;
it was your arm tied in a black velvet ribbon.
I tried to fall sleep, but all I could hear was a
constant thump from the inside of the cardboard box.

Finally, I slid off the lid and your arm slithered up
the bedpost and wrapped itself around my shoulders.
I woke up to find your arm turning on the shower
and your right foot had mysteriously appeared
to prop open the bathroom door.

When I attempted to push the door closed,
your heel pressed my toes until I left the door open
for all of your parts to watch me undress.
Your breath got heavier and heavier
and I turned on the radio to drown it out.

I reached for my mesh sponge and found
your arm hanging from the hook-
your palm already soaked in body wash.
Your fingers squirmed as they ran over my body
and no matter how loud I turned up the radio,
all I could hear was the slow panting of your breath.


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