Gail Goepfert

You Wound Me

   The Two Fridas, Kahlo 1939

Here we sit, two cabbage roses. Have you forgotten that we are happier without ruffle and lace? How well our skirts hide the scars beneath. Our artery sashed like an umbilical cord girdles us. Don’t you see? You bleed, we do, while the sky argues with the clouds whether to be gray or white. No penance to be paid for lost children or false lovers. I whisper, put down the scissors, Frida. Put them down.

Wedged Between the Living and the Dying

  Softened by moss / these bones / of the earth, haiku
  –Bill Waters

She chides herself for her sulks, her tongue, wants her edges softened to contend with loss, ever-looming, loss that saturates skin, blossoms bit by bit in her lungs, a chokehold on her ribs’ measure of breath. A moss greening inside uninvited. She womans through. Daily vessel. These sapped bones, a string of pearls near breaking. I push for her bones to let loose the bellow of her grieving voice. Summon the lift and buzz of spring. Empty and replenish. Let the proof of being loved arise from the grease of grinding through, the leaning into bodies, the inhale of warming earth.

In our dream band, on willow flute:

Gail Goepfert, associate editor at RHINO Poetry, is a Midwest poet and photographer. She has three book publications—A Mind on Pain (2015), Tapping Roots (2018), and Get Up, Said the World (2020). Recent publications include Jet Fuel Reivew, Nixes Mate, The Night Heron Barks, and The Inflectionist Review. She has a collaborative chapbook, This Hard Business of Living, and a book, Self-Portrait with Thorns, being released in 2021.

Frida Kahlo, standing next to her work, The Two Fridas, Everett Collection Historical

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