Bryanna Licciardi

Dream About a Gigantic, Me-Obsessed Octopus

still felt ghost prints 
of tentacles 
around my wrists 
before its love-grip 
grew back into 
my carpal tunnel

the bed is a dark tunnel
and I forget which way is out 
venom calls to my body
but these sheets are not waves
their love reminds me of 
the many ways to be small

next time I am 
camouflaged by sleep 
I will ask again
for dreams of a giant thing 
that wants me

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Bryanna Licciardi is an educator and writer, with an MFA in poetry and a doctorate in education. She’s the author of poetry chapbook Skin Splitting (Finishing Line Press, 2017) and a forthcoming full-length collection, Fish Love (Alternating Current Press, December 2023). When not teaching, her favorite roles include cat mom and technical supporter for a local reading series, Poetry in the Boro. You can find her work in journals such as Poetry Quarterly, BlazeVOX, Peacock Journal, and Cleaver Magazine. Or just check out her website at