Julia Bouwsma lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine, where she is a poet, freelance editor, critic, small-town librarian, dog trainer, and farmer. Her debut collection, Work by Bloodlight, selected by Linda Pastan for the 2015 Cider Press Review Book Award, is forthcoming in January 2017. Her work can be found in Bellingham Review, Colorado Review, and RHINO, among others. She serves as Book Review Editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and as Library Director for Webster Library in Kingfield, Maine. 

J U L I A   B O U W S M A

​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

F U L L   H U N G E R   M O O N

The hunter loses: first his steps, then his feet. And then his legs. And then his way. 
Fear crystals the snow. At each trail of dropped teeth, the woods lead him deeper. 
The task now is not to lose his body all together, to keep alive 
this delusion of gristle and char, even as it mixes with the scent of his own swelling. 
The hunter unfolds: a knife glinting in the pocket of this night. 
The task now is not to let the moonlight skin him bare. Somewhere a deer 
has bedded down in the white; her heart beats an offering 
into the palms of the earth. Somewhere his children are sleeping, 
their metal cups in a neat row, waiting for him. Morning will find them filled 
with blood or with snow.