Frida,Black Dove

Burn this house, Burn it blue
Sad one, Sad one Sad One,
Guitar, seeking fire, like a hunger motor
sings of the broken body,
steel rivers humming:
The night sky burns with fire

and the burning bed floats higher.
I came apart – I came all undone
Sailing queerly through the air
until the sailing undid me and I broke.
Laughter crackles and nips
at me like scissors,

leaving me red and rising.
Pain swallows bloom and falls like nails
to land on my cheeks and eyelids.
Examine my life closely,
for it is a painting on the wall:
twins clutch my naked heart,

one cuts its ventricle with scissors;
umbilical cords, uni-browed, dark-edged,
connect me to the shell of earth’s sorrow.
Burn this house, burn it blue.
Oh Sad One, Sad one, Sad One.
Now I’ve taken my bill for the spree.

Oh Black Dove, Where will you walk?
I cannot, I cannot, but I will be free.
I am bathing my heart
which has been torn out of me,
I am bathing it in the river.

I’m tired of breaking
and the dawn doesn’t suffer.
Though I love you, your whirling wheel drills
through rules. Four-inch screws brace my crippled life,
a rod of fire through my body and bones.

Burn the body, this Judas of a body!
Oh wings of Midnight blue, spread my bones.
Let the humming fire sing its dirge:
and night sky burns with fire
and the burning bed floats higher
Sad one, Sad one Sad One,
Burn this house, Burn it blue

Block Kahlo Rivera 1932” by Carl Van VechtenThis image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3c03971.

Categories: Poetry

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Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios

Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios’ poetry has appeared in Clementine, Silver Birch Press, Kentucky Review, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable and Silkworm, in forthcoming issues of Edison Literary Review, Crack the Spine, Poeming Pidgeon and Unsplendid. She co-wrote the book Party Line under the name Elizabeth Kirkpatrick. She has studied with Judith Harris, Gloria Boyer, Hailey Leithauser, Sue Ellen Thompson and Alexandra Van de Kamp. Elizabeth is a professor emerita from American University in Washington DC, having chaired the vocal and music departments. Vrenios’ solo recitals throughout the United States, South America, Scandinavia, Japan and Europe have been acclaimed, and as the artistic director of the Redwoods Opera Workshop in Mendocino, California, and the Crittenden Opera Workshop in Washington D.C. and Boston, she has influenced and trained students across the country. She is a member of the international Who’s Who of Musicians, and is the past National President of the National Opera Association.

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