In the Guest Room of Casa Azul
You waited for him leaning against the blue wall
In the framed portrait you painted for the communist
You and Diego extradited from Russia like valuable mail,
Removed him from the tomb under Stalin’s mustache.
Diego exchanged a look - not with you - but with his latest model
So you flung your thorny arms around Trotsky’s neck
And he was flattered into removing his tie and jacket
But when Diego called you like a dog you ran back inside
Before the screen slammed shut.
And Trotsky - left wingless - walked into his coffin.
You stand broken stemmed in a clear vase, between white curtains,
Growing roses through your hair like fireworks sizzling.
Your brow, the black bird in every painting
flying toward or away from grief.
You conduct a choir of peasants
their rust faces and yellow hoods
marching eternally through a pattern
woven into your shawl.
Your portraits are many daughters hidden in the folds of your arms,
The way you give offers a uterus, whips up a tornado.
At the end of your pink longing, white lace, sea foam –
Stage curtains tied open, gone to seed, dandelions with heads hung.
This poem first appeared in Ekphrasis: a Journal of Transformative Verse.
Sarah Antine is the Director of the Deborah Lerner Gross Jewish Cultural Arts Center and is a teaching artist who uses a wide variety of mediums to integrate arts into the classroom. She received her MFA from Hunter College in 2004 and has published her poetry in the anthology, Torah: A Woman's Commentary, The Journal, Big City Lit, pms: poemmemoirstory, Lilith Magazine, The Mom Egg, Bridges and Poetica Magazine. She won 3rd prize in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg poetry contest through Poetica Magazine in 2017.
The Ekphrastic Review
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