An Ode to Frida, on a Monday

Frida Kahlo
Across the Gulf from La Casa Azul, this Monday
Late morning I am thinking of you,
Frida. My sister’s just called and
We Facetimed, her lying flat on her
Back on her bed, phone in midair
Me slurping lukewarm coffee in my
Second cousin-in-law’s second home and the chatter
Echoes off textured walls until we hang up and I

See you again in my mind,
Wrapped in braids and beads
And know how good you had to become
At being at home:
In your busted body, so long prone,
Cast in your bed, and in your
Nightmares.

Black stories drenched in dark garden scents, orchids
Looming and plunging over rattle traps and
You sitting at a sweet tender pool of water;
How you smile at your reflection, dip your finger to smooth
The brow, when the shaking starts– ripples then explosions
Disrupting the smile, screeches and smoke
Into air, splinters of wood
Piercing the tenderest bloom.

Frida, you hold the hand glass and stare at your
Selfie– I see you pain, I draw you
Pain– I gather you up,
Impaled and encased in
Casts of broken body, of femininity, of
Sexuality and of Otherness and
Politic and motherness and motherlessness.

Frida, I think of you, on a Monday,
At the La Casa Azul
Cast in your bed, in your
Nightmares.
Watching bees drinking in the sun
Wanting to itch.

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

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