1 Poem by Nikita Hernandez


After Rita Dove

There are ghost towns in the ocean
where I tried to encourage a love impossible.
We lie down screaming

in empty beds with icy pillows. The walls
answer our echoes, then toss them into
ghost towns in the ocean.

When you tired of swimming and sank
in the salt, I decided to drown too
and cease breathing. We lie down screaming

defeat as the Atlantic punches through
us. We come up dripping. Our bones build
ghost towns. In the ocean

a battered row boat drifts—my initials 
carved on the right oar, yours on the left. 
We lie down screaming

and holes where our fingers should fit
become apparent. For every failed transatlantic
romance, there are ghost towns in the ocean.
We lie down screaming.


By day Nikita Hernandez is a legal writer and by night a poet. In her downtime she likes to curl up in her papasan chair, laugh, drink sweet tea, say “y’all,” and make a mess when baking. She spends her life hoping it will snow in Florida.