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.