What I will now do for you by Elizabeth Garcia

Posted: February 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

  —to my friend who has lost her child

Nurses slam into gurneys.
Pills sprinkle the air. Red Jello Rorschachs stain the walls,
outside, a lady and her dog are tangled in the trees, the leash gone limp,
the chubby cop and the thug with droopy drawers cling to the wire fence
like wilted laundry, and in kitchens everywhere, cooks have lopped off fingers,
the sous chefs swim in a sea of metal, pots and pans chiming their confusion
and in some hotel, a pair of lovers thinks they’ve reached some out of body free-fall,
and they splash, tractor trailers grind and twist on the highway in some slow angle,
cars thrust forward, drivers pump their brakes, splay their hands,
their noses against the glass to see
the whole world floating,
some apocalypse.

Tell me how long to leave them hanging there.
(I know this much: they must relearn their bodies.
How to maneuver. What is up or down.)
And when you’re ready,
just before the atmosphere has burned away,
just before that last desperate gasp for air,
we’ll let the earth start back its turning,
let them all drop in a dusty heap,
thud to their knees in strange backyards,
plunk deep into ocean, sinking with brick feet,
skid down some dotted desert road,
spine on bony spine.

We’ll give instructions:
Stand, bruised.
Brush off the dirt and walk the long way back
to what you were doing.
Youll have time to think of it again.
Carry your broken thermometers,
your bent whisks.
Dont ask why, just walk.
If its hot, strip off your sweater.
Wipe the sweat from your forehead.
Bear the sear of blisters starting at your heels
because your shoes arent right for this.


Elizabeth Cranford Garcia isn’t sure what’s worse: the sound of her children whining, or suspicious silence. Her first chapbook, Stunt Double, is forthcoming (any day now!) from Finishing Line Press.


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