La Casa Azul
after photographs of Frida Kahlo in her garden
Born from prickly pear, I am.
My seeds were cobalt — cacti mixed
with yucca, agave, canna-lily, the
bougainvillea crown of deep thorny
pink from which pain sprouted.
Selfies grew from blackbird brows,
rouged skin bled into terracotta,
mustard, leaf-green dappled basalt
walls and slabs of raw volcanic rock
that make up a central courtyard
surrounded by the rooms of me —
my eyes weeping shells. Mosaics
that spell my name in a kitchen of
turgid fruits; the glass ceiling
makes sense of my brokenness.
My bathroom a cell of fashionista
loot: red leather boot with leg, bows,
bells, lace resplandors, embroidered
Chinese silks, cool Tehuana huipils,
enagua underskirts peeking polka dots.
My gallery of ex-votos, the re-runs of
tragedy on trolley–buses that crawl
like tin creepers over textured walls
while those painted corsets of misery
sit propped in folk art corners.
My library of botany, tiny bouquets
pressed in chartreuse leaves. A
domestic oasis of portraits, plants,
people, parrots — spider monkeys
scaling the pyramid or my shoulder,
my deer, my pack of dogs cavorting
among pomegranate boughs and
succulents, my meandering pathways
of paint — the comfort and pain of
home and his betrayal mixed plein air.
The white crocheted bed where I
assign the colours — soaring Aztec pink
green sadness, yellow madness, cut
red melon death flesh, that sweet
electricity of my deep blue tender fire
Jane Frank’s latest chapbook is Wide River (Calanthe Press, 2020). Her work has most recently appeared in The Blue Nib, StylusLit, Grieve (Hunter Writers Centre, 2020), The Poets’ Republic and Cicerone Journal. Poems are also forthcoming in Meridian and Other Terrain Journal. In 2020 she was shortlisted for both the Thomas Shapcott and Wigtown Poetry Prizes, and in 2019, was joint winner of the Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Award.
The Ekphrastic Review
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