Libby Copa poetry

19 | A Photograph Of This Girl | The Viking Front

A Photograph of This Girl

When she was a girl her parents had not told her of the man she would one day meet, adore, and marry. They had decided that she was going to have whatever she wanted. So she did not know what to expect when she grew up and did not know what she wanted, what to look for, and it left her wanting nothing at all for a very long time.

There were a lot of mistakes, for she never had a mother who said, You want a man who does not hit, or a father who said, You want a man who can support you in ways other than financial ones, and she was an only child with no sibling to warn, There are men who will take from you without asking. So there she was, a young woman making up the idea of a man because she could, because no one told her otherwise.

She looks now at the photograph he had taken of her in their first days together, the one that hangs in a gallery somewhere, the one of her sitting at her desk naked from the waist up, the side of one breast, elbows on the table, windows open, reading over some story she was writing.

In the gallery where this photograph hangs there are pictures of other women from his life. Naked, half smiling, turning their bodies away and blushing. These women at the time their image was stilled were being uncoiled, peeled, and would one day be left with only a feeling of exposure. It is this very thing that keeps her. She could not put a name to it because she had never learned there were such feelings or what to call them but it felt natural and at first had scared her very much. She could only figure it was something she recalled from before, the way birds and zebras know how to migrate.


The Viking Front

What’s happening down here

is the most important thing going on in this

undressed Minnesotans Atlantic

               With the translations

               there extracts a bit of magic and mystery from things

                                                      I’ve never understood those who thrive on this atmosphere

Twisted and complicated

                              and collecting a thin layer of soot or longing

Looking for one thing:                what he is missing when he isn’t there.


libby copa is a writer, editor, and writing coach. Her work has appeared in publications across the country, including Hanging Loose,DashMatter, and Quail Bell Magazine. She loves a good adventure.