by Elizabeth Cranford Garcia

—for my grandmother

Young, she was the platinum blonde
staring from the photograph, sepia landscape
fueling the heat shimmering around her,
her clothes—shorts? bathing suit?—rendered
by years and the faults of memory, irrelevant.
Only her body, posed on a blanket, matters:
one lean leg supine and white, the other
cocked, propping up the elbow, the hand
cupping the chin, the lips, the marvelous
white cheekbones, her marble
ripening to skin like Galatea,
her body glowing. Moon-white.

And when she gets it back:
will this be the body she wants?
The one smooth as mythology, before
it was flagged, pockmarked with debris,
barcoded with men’s feet, before its sinkholes
yawned open, before its furrows plowed,
before its muscles learned to remember song,
or how to let go, before it became an archive,
evidence of all the bodies she has given
and received, before it was known,
and men could only howl up at that metaphor
for what shines in the dark?


ELIZABETH CRANFORD GARCIA’S work has appeared in numerous publications such as Boxcar Poetry Review491 MagazineYellow Chair ReviewMom Egg ReviewDialogue: 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 three and binge-watching Netflix with her husband in Acworth, Georgia. Read more of her work at  elizabethcgarcia.wordpress.com.


Photo: “Hermitage State Museum: Pygmalion and Galatea, Pietro Stagi” by Leon Yaakov