Girl with Death Mask, 1938
Oh, Frida, your obsession with death.
Your self-perceived ugliness
even as you portray this child,
sturdy arms and legs,
sunny coral dress, lace collar,
a bright black-eyed Susan
held lightly in her hands.
You paint her feet, bare
on arid ground, pose her
before harsh mountains,
in front of roiling clouds, hide
her child-face in skeleton skull.
Oh, Frida, you paint a leering mask
next to this innocent, as if foretelling
that death would be your constant,
that Diego would be your love, your
muse, your monster.
This poem was first published in City Works Journal.
Sylvia Levinson lives in San Diego. Her writing life began in the 1990s, when she worked as Sales Manager in the creative environment of the Old Globe Theatre, where her poetry muse appeared spontaneously one day. Publications include chapbooks: Spoon, (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and Gateways: Poems of Nature, Meditation and Renewal (Caernarvon Press, 2005), and poems in City Works Journal, Snowy Egret, SD Writers Ink, Magee Park, SD Poetry Annual, Ekphrasis, Blue Arc West, Serving House Journal, Waymark, Mamas and Papas, Hunger and Thirst, Sunshine Noir II, Poetic Matrix, The San Diego Reader, and others. A personal narrative, “The Poetry of Food,” was published online in The Christian Science Monitor. Awards include: Honorable Mention in the Steve Kowit Prize, 2017; Finalist, San Diego Book Awards, 2013 for Published Poetry; National Award Winner, City Works, 2007; Best Poem, San Diego African-American Writers and Artists, Inc. 2004 and 2006; Best Poem, City Works, 1997.
The Ekphrastic Review
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