Three Poems

by Elizabeth Cranford Garcia


The Holy Ghost in Erato’s Closet

“When all my five and country senses see . . .”
—Dylan Thomas

Listen with your hands:
folds of cerulean, susurrus.
Chromatics of silk, chenille, messaline.
Imagine: what your body could be.
The taste of the particular
like wisteria frothing from the trees.


Like Marilyn’s skirts
billowing white
petals shivering in the wind.
What is the weight of bone?
What color the slurs of the flesh?
What ululation, the cathedral roof of ecstasy?


The Holy Ghost in Euterpe’s Closet

A sweater, homespun. Tattered at the elbows.
Deadhead T.
Corduroys, a hole feathered at the knee.
And slip on shoes.

Did you ever notice: Mr. Rogers
leaves without them? His bony
feet stockinged, snagging scree,
walks right through the door, sings

this beautiful day. After the weight
on the balls of your feet, the long dance,
the foxtrots, put these on, poet.
Catalogue the rattle of palm fronds
in the wind, her lissome fingers, her wet
hair shaken out over her shoulders and tossed.


The Holy Ghost in Calliope’s Closet

Dresses, like waves, crest out of her closet, hexameters rippling.
Sliding inside one? Like history: suffer the ribcage, corseted,
zip up the back—and sing for your heroes (their barrel-chest heaving
in hubris, in songs of themselves, in arrow-quick blood rush) forgetting
their tendons, their blindness. The will of the gods measures everything! This is your
fear, your desire—so I’ll sing what you want: counted like fathoms,
one knot at a time, ping and descend, ping and descend.
Till anchored to something barnacled. Musical. Onerous. Deep.

ELIZABETH CRANFORD GARCIA’S work has appeared in numerous publications such as Boxcar Poetry Review, 491 Magazine, Yellow Chair Review, Mom Egg Review, Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, and Penwood Review, as well as two anthologies, Stone, River, Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems, and Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets. She currently serves as Poetry Editor for Segullah Literary Journal. Her first chapbook, Stunt Double, is now available through Finishing Line Press. She spends most of her time being mommy to two toddlers and binge-watching Netflix with her husband in Acworth, Georgia. Read more of her work at

Photo: “Silk” by Daniela Goulart