Medusa, Present Day.


In a small fitting room, I slip into Medusa,
winging a thin Grecian costume down my body,
clamping the gold armband around my wrist.
In the mirror, my skin is still pale porcelain,
not creeping emerald, my hair is not snakes,
not hissing wildly about my face—yet.
I think of the young priestess, held down
on the steps of a temple, raped, left.
I think of her prayers for help to get up again.
It is fitting, here in America, to be a woman
cursed. Every day after, when Medusa saw men
move toward her body, she looked them in the eye,
watched them turn to stone, limb by limb
calcifying, faces pausing forever. She learned
to love herself as monster. This, I understand.

Anna Sandy-Elrod is a PhD student studying poetry at Georgia State University, where she also teaches English Comp and Intro to Creative Writing. She’s the current Editor in Chief of New South and Managing Editor of Muse/A. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in the Santa Ana River Review, Nightjar Review, North American Review, Bluestem, and others. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three cats.

Image Credit: “Portrait,” Nasos Karabelas


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