Sunday, December 14, 2008
My Dress Hangs There
– after the painting by Frida Kahlo
When the maid asks, must you leave
New York so soon? I will say, it is
just the smell of last week’s uneaten fruit
that makes me long for La Casa Azul.
Then I will gently fold my lies into a suitcase,
and carry my pain to Mexico
where it can live a colorful life
under skirts that swirl as I raise
the brush, paint myself again and again,
until finally I see glimpses not of me
but of what I will become: strong
eyebrows, long neck, eyes wise.
But for now my dress hangs there
in the room where you sleep without me.
I could say I will miss you but I won’t
and when my back aches, I will paint
and when I am hungry, I will paint
and when I want to be loved
I will rest beneath the mango tree
take out my pain
and devour it.
- Irene Latham
This one I wrote as part of a series on historical women, and it is one of two poems that recently appeared in the journal FREE LUNCH. (Look for the second poem next Sunday.)
Also, this poem (along with six others in the historical women series) was selected for publication in the new anthology EINSTEIN AT THE ODEON CAFE, to be released by Churn Dash Press in March 2009.
I could write for days about Frida. She fascinates me.
"Feet, why do I need them if I have wings to fly?"
- Frida Kahlo