strip this painting to its core
flip the love plant
a starburst of stamens and stigma –
ward off scorpions
our marriage bed.
And around the ruby
I let the rosette of leaves
bare their petticoats –
business of what’s inside
that an embryo’s fontanelles
the velvet urn
isn’t roots someone’s pulled
shrieking out of the ground,
my torn fallopian tubes.
Since I was six my right foot
bandaged in a boat.
it’s only today that the doctors
add a toy
sail and smash
bottle against it
launch me on my ocean of tears.
after Frida Kahlo
Isn’t it enough that I’ve yanked out my
there’s a gaping hole in my chest
finest brushes worry?
does the sword of my eyes
pierce the wound? And why do I have to
each end of the shaft,
see-sawing up and down until the
echoes in my deserted house
a couple’s bedsprings?
stand between the sea and the mountains,
on land, one on water,
among my dresses lowered from the clouds
sky’s wardrobe is open, the mirror of twilight
with stars where seamstresses
quickly sew, snipping each thread
just as night falls, my school uniform
Tehuana gown each offer me an arm.
as we walk
speak in silk and velvet voices –
rustles from the cloth of memory.
bring me the scents of childhood,
those seraphim-skirts and blouses –
me right back to the day I was whole.
I’ve come to lie on the basalt
earth is trying to heal itself.
I look down a crack in the
pain gets white, keep looking
chest blisters. And right down
against a roiling valve
beating like a heart
own heart bubbles.
This is what I have to do. Then my
empties. The threads of my dress
snarl. I soothe them.
I calm sun flares, plasma
the cloth of fire I paint vines.
shoot out from my hollows –
leaves large as hands
that stroke the wound of my