I dream that my legs
are covered in hair, dark
and coarse as a bear’s.

I’m afraid of this.
I can’t breathe

for the thickness of the air.

Hibernation –
a season of deep sleep

and now wakefulness.
this shapeless darkness,
heavy on skin, ceaseless,
but scratching at the throat.

A rash of thistle
and of thorn.

Skin-depth: I imagine

that you crawl into bed
each night
smelling like a butcher.
Whoever yearns for you there
in sweaty darkness
craves this:
craves your raw scent

and the rinsed blood
of your fingertips.

Soon you’ll come stalking,
cutting through metaphors
and these illusions
with the precision of a hunter.

I too could consume a heart,

and swallow it whole:
in such dreams, the heart
is a small detail,
a petty conflict of territory.

In this,
I am reckless. Feed it to me.

The hot air crackles, licking
at our bodies. Petrified

into life again. Who knows
who’s the butcher, the hunter,
or the bear? I tremble
with such electricity.
It punctuates my skin, snaps
the roots of my wild hair,
and sparks at my lips –

the sharp small bones
of my teeth.

I’m not hiding.

I’m biding time.
I can’t find myself
among these twisted trees.

How long will it take
to rinse this blood from my hands?

So she lies wrapped
in damp sheets, stark-stripped
in his bed. He watches keenly,
wondering about her dreams
and whether he is in them.
His eyes linger like shadows

or like teeth,
all over her skin.

Emily Paskevics is currently a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal. Her most recent publications include essays in The Future of History, short fiction in Young Voices, and poetry in Ascent, The Claremont Review, McGill’s Read This! and Shorthand, via Diaspora Dialogues. She has also collaborated with McGill’s “Poetry in Performance” project, and is a recent fellowship recipient for the Summer Literary Seminars International 2012.