Featured Writer Gail Goepfert


               –for Frida Kahlo

So many days and nights she lay in bed—
brittle and soured. Placed on a pool table, left

for dead  after a streetcar hit the bus she rode.
Forced to lie in bed in body casts she embellished

with monkeys and tigers, hammers and sickles, a fetus,
cord of the umbilicus,—a skylight hole near her heart.

Constrained after miscarried babies, and before
each gurney rolled into the next surgery

and the next—no cure for a riven spine.
She would not be buried— recumbent,

rooted to coffin or earth. In death, ash.


About the writer:
Gail Goepfert is a poet and photographer and a teacher. She’s an associate editor at RHINO Poetry. Her books include A Mind on Pain, 2015 and Tapping Roots, 2018, and a third, Get Up Said the World, which will be released in early 2019 by Červená Barva Press.

Image: Portrait of Frida Kahlo by Saed de los Santos. Oil on wood. No size specified. By 2013. By free license.