The Ghosts of Dead Husbands
My husband crawls into the dark, sinks
knees into dirt and holds my old turquoise hair dryer to our frozen pipes.
My husband oils my cast iron Dutch oven, its surface gleaming
My husband brings me endless water, each clear glass floating
a thin, slice of lemon.
My husband, presses his face to the back of my neck, prickling
my thin skin.
There are dead men barely breathing below bed sheets,
hiding behind the curtains,
emerging from sand and salt water, close mouthed, looking for wives who plant
tulips, boil water, walk to the mailbox
hiding wet eyes and trembling palms beneath long sweaters and light smiles, their
hearts beating them awake at night.
My love, you are alive, so breathe deeply in the dark, and know that my cheek is
against your chest, listening to your heart.
About the author:
Brianna Pike earned her MA from the University of North Texas and her MFA from Murray State University’s Low Residency program. Her poems have appeared in Rust + Moth, Mojave River Review, New Plains Review and Hamilton Stone Review & Meadow among other publications. She currently lives in Indianapolis where she is an Assistant Professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College.