Celebration


I once let a pig, pink and gleaming, into my bed to sleep.

I heard it chuffing in the grass outside and went to fetch it.


It was a full moon. Blades of grass stood rigid

like snowflake spindles. I offered the pig crisp leeks


and a ripe tomato. She looked in my eyes. She sniffed

my palms, sucked citrus and skin into her snout.


I lived alone when this happened. I never told anyone

how her fat-padded back curled into me like a question,


or that I woke to her wet snout on mine. I named her,

took her to the door in the morning, never saw her again.


The night we slept together, she waited until I arrived

in that gentle, mossy place between worlds and whispered


one inch from my ear. Her voice sounded deep and whole;

I pictured my mother thumping her palm against cantaloupes


at the grocery store, listening for a note that would tell her

the shade of orange inside. The pig murmured that her mother’s


milk could have dripped straight from the moon. I don’t know why

she told me; perhaps loneliness had settled in her belly, bubbling


deep and slow. Mine started in the elbows, swinging

from bone to bone: humerus to clavicle, down the scapula.


It zipped along each rib like electricity. Maybe the pig

was simply wading through her own half-dream.


But the endlessly dense hooves of her, the verdant

garden breath of her, the water-smooth armpits and


left glistening ear of her, moon-christened, told me

this night was a celebration of having someone to miss.



HANNAH BRIDGES is a Creative Writing MFA candidate at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. A Charlotte native, her writing is informed by her role as the oldest of five closely-aged siblings who find their way into her work in both grief and gratitude. Currently, she lives in downtown Wilmington with her husband and two dogs.

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