Glass Poetry Press

Volume Six Issue Two

Monica Rose Burchfield

The Bathers

You lather yourself white with a slice of the moon. I can't help but compare you to the child I washed just this morning — the cup I tipped over his quiet head, his lashes laid out wet like ferns — with your nipping jaws, your snarled curls, the perilous brink of your nose. His palms splayed across the water's surface, divining the way I will weep for the slight spindle of his shoulder when he leaves my breasts. Your hand, impatient and viced on my braid, hauling me into loam-soaked eyes, shoulders of clay, and starved starved femurs. He is shush and lavender and drawn-in like a mouse, while you pace on the back porch, moss-dried and calling to me, lightning flaring from your chest. I shiver in your tawny heat — a charm of finches flights the perch of my ribs. I am caught between that slip of sweetgum limb in his swaddle, and you, outlined in the dusk, your arms reaching out for me — the apparition of a bear.