Willow Loveday Little | GALATEA FEELS FEAR FIRST

A pull so she pivots on her heel. There’s a little girl
clutching a book. Galatea smiles consciously,
imagines the process of petrification. The girl’s eyes
are a dark name scratched in an oak tree.
I read about you in art class.
You’re my favourite. Medusa is too.

As she kneads the dough for tomorrow’s loaf,
she works the gluten from this conversation. Once,
a woman was looked at by a man and in punishment
was turned to stone. Stone first, a second woman
was looked at by a man, then came alive.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

This sticky yeast. Everything is right, except
Galatea didn’t look at anything. She objects
to the pedestal, flours her woman hands.

Beauty is in the I of the boulder,
The eye of the igneous storm inside her.

Galatea looks in the mirror, inspects a pore
open as a cliff
where the chisel slipped in his hands.
This silver root of scar like a fault line.

If you know the beginning and the end,
you can figure out the middle.
But what when there is only middle,
a middle you never chose?

What if she had been left to sleep on in bedrock


Willow Loveday Little‘s work has appeared in such places as The Dalhousie Review, HA&L, yolk, Metatron, and On Spec. She is the author of the poetry collection (Vice) Viscera (Cactus Press) and is currently working on a novel thanks to the generosity of the Canada Council for the Arts.