Body Cartographer

Sarah Cooper

Skin spilling over ribs like crayons
rowed in boxes

your chest rises in sleep.
Light slits through crumpled curtains

illuminate us, silhouetted
I’m tracing the outline of every freckle

and scar etched over torso,
tracing the right nipple then left

tracing your canvased bones
wrapped narratives buried & bound

pelvis to clavicle I’ve mapped
constellations and continents.

I’m naming Bolivia in your belly
button, Peru on the mound of pubic bone.

The Atlantic is floating over an ovary
and I’m certain I’ve wished on falling stars

that live in the desert of your pectorals.
I know we’ve separately had our bodies

traced by others & I, I praise them
for caressing you.

Sarah Cooper is a native of South Carolina.  She earned her MA from Purdue University and MFA from Converse College where she was mentored by Denise Duhamel.  Her poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including Sun Star Review, Sling Magazine and Cahaba Literary Review.  Currently, she teaches at Clemson University, lives with an orange cat and writes poems on front porches.