Monica Burchfield

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Monica Burchfield, a native of northern Florida and of Cuban heritage, has a M.A. in poetry from Georgia State University.  Her poems have been published in journals such as Kudzu Review, Mêlée, , RhinoRattle, New South, Deep South Magazine, Terra Incognita, Dappled Things, The Healing Muse, Glass, and Willow Springs. She has a chapbook published by La Vita Poetica Press entitled Lapis Lazuli (2010). She currently teaches creative writing at Georgia Highlands College in Marietta. 

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 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.

© The Acentos Review 2014