On Frida in New York, Photograph by Nickolas Muray
You, sitting in a chair on a rooftop at Nick’s flat.
New York behind you. Brown brick to your back
& periwinkle sky that on a clear day…
Simple brown building with dark windows
left shoulder. To your right: more sky, spire,
then brown building out of frame.
You, pensive, head tilted left, wearing a bow
in your hair same colour as sky, a bow like
four pocket squares. Lipstick, earrings
with weight. Your neck in a necklace.
Silver flower? Shoulders beat the ledge,
a blouse that requires two stanzas: red &
gold pattern in emerging U w/ horizontal
black triangles down the left, across the
midriff, up the right, then red interior
with white amoeba-like circles. You,
in a patterned light blue skirt fanning
out ending white lace on the roof.
Arms in your lap, nails red, cigarette
left hand. No shaking, perfectly at home
with your art, here, in Mexico, anyplace.
To you the city adapts.
Tremors are thorns in self-portrait.
Your pulse at rest ticks louder than traffic.
Eric Steineger is the Managing Editor and Senior Poetry Editor of The Citron Review. His work has been featured in Waxwing, Rattle: The Poets Respond, Tinderbox, The Los Angeles Review, and other places. His chapbook, From a Lisbon Rooftop, is based on Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet and is available at Plan B Press. Occasionally, he curates poetry events at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. He lives in Asheville with his wife and daughter.
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