Sharks are resistant to cancer
the way you are to hot water.
I remember our first shower—your hands
low on my waist, the drag of
your mouth across my shoulders,
how I let my skin burn so that you wouldn’t stop.
I read somewhere a giraffe’s heart can weigh
over twenty pounds. I think of its weight
when we go to bed mad,
and I think of your rock-hard tongue,
of your teeth grinding into my dreams each night.
I want to be an ant that never sleeps,
a dolphin keeping watch with one eye.
When it rains, I try to keep my gaze high without blinking.
The pig can scarcely look up, because its neck
is designed to keep him low and facing the ground.
Tonight, there’s something enigmatic about the sky.
Owls are the only birds that can see
the color blue—the color that looks best on you.
Female stick bugs reproduce almost entirely
without males. Only the male cricket chirps.
There was a life in you that’s missing now,
that you threw to the dogs
maybe long before we met.
The Cretan hound is the rarest breed of dog.
I imagine a pack of them running you down
and tearing you to pieces, gnawing what’s left
of you between the bones.
But then again, if we were perfect,
there would be no need for love.
Bryanna Licciardi has received her MFA in poetry from Emerson College, where she served as the Poetry Editor for Redivider Journal. Her work has appeared in such journals as Blazevox, Dos Passos, Euphony, Dual Coast Magazine, and the Underground.
Artwork: Egene Koo, “Red Narcissist 1”