» Poetry

When I Am Dorothy Gale

The curtain comes crashing down

and there I am, ruby-footed and murderous,

doing it all for the bloated shadow

of a little man. How foolish I have been

again and again, poppy-cocked

and clumsy, letting the boom of a voice, the cast

of a giant, tease me into storming

the castle to take what I never lacked. What is

more incarnadine: the glitter of these

shoes or the myth of blood now on my hands.

I look at the man and he looks back,

the fury of being caught pinking his cheeks.

I am not the heroine, and I know that

too late. He has no power to give me, after all,

the fading of his theatrics, and if he did,

I understand he’d keep it. We all fell for green,

called it real. There’s no place like money.

There’s no seduction like a beast of sewn-up skins,

a cotton ball on fire, a thrown voice

that tells us what we want to hear. Which of us

escapes? He told the lie; I did the killing.


Anna Sandy-Elrod

Anna Sandy-Elrod is a PhD candidate at Georgia State University and editor of Birdcoat Quarterly and Ghost Peach Press. Her work can be found in the North American Review, Green Mountains Review, Threepenny Review, Iron Horse, Arkana, Fugue, and elsewhere. She lives in Amsterdam with her husband, a cat, and a dog. You can find her at annasandyelrod.com.