Poetry by Erica Bernal-Hanson

Pillow Talk
Sometimes, I wish I were a vampire-
just so I could taste something
other than your lips- I think,
your blood would taste like whiskey,
but I’d skinny dip in your veins anyway.

Sometimes, I wish I were a serial killer-
just so I could chop you up
and gather all your parts- I would
stack them like building blocks
and make tunnels I could sleep under.

Sometimes, I wish I were a cannibal-
just so I could gnaw your flesh
after appetizers- I think,
you would be irresistible with
just a drizzle of oregano.

Sometimes, I wish I were a praying mantis-
just so I could consume you
after pillow talk- I would hold you,
just deep in the dark of my
small intestine.

Sometimes, I wish I were a grave robber-
just so I could dig you up a hundred years
after the last time you said “I love you-”
I would clean your bones and keep your dust
in a jewelry box beside my bed.

Crushed Antioxidants
I never left; I’m only loitering in the tree house
of your memories. Occasionally, I’ll hold meetings
where the secret password will be “My Dog Skip
or “Strawberry Waffles,” so you and I can remain
the only members of a club we started eight years ago.

Back then, I wrote novels with the tips of my toes,
scribbling up and down the pages of your shins,
moving slow enough for you to savor every word.

But now, standing on opposite sidewalks,
six hours of street in between us, I’m forced
to drape the memory of your limbs across my chest
before I crawl between sheets that no longer smell
like crushed antioxidants and sweat glands.

I open my window so the sound of your snoring
can hitchhike up the coast and sing me to sleep,
where I’ll dream of white water rafting through
your capillaries, ice skating across your adobe skin,
and free falling to the bottom of your lungs,
just so I can kiss the place you breathe from.

Because only you possess my favorite freckle,
and keep it safe for me just below your eye;
and only I can translate your breathing and use it
to pin point the exact second you’ve fallen asleep.
Maybe that’s not much, but maybe it’s everything.


2 responses to “Poetry by Erica Bernal-Hanson

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