Gail Goepfert

The year of broth

she calls it. The year
Frida shades a dark-green
winged figure on the back page
of her diary, the year
of thin-souped sustenance,
Demerol, cigarettes,
brandy and cognac, cocktails
of narcotics mixed in vials
injected into soft
yet-unspoiled flesh.
Diego—there and not.

On her canvas of pain,
The final smudge.
gangrene and amputation.
Doctors advise removing
the right leg at the knee.

After. She orders
scarlet leather platform
boots spangled with gold,
Chinese embroidery
and a bell affixed to the right one,
a prosthetic wooden leg.
Why does it have to be ugly?
In time. She prevails.
Revivial. One last dance of joy—
she calls it.


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, released in early 2019 by Červená Barva Press.

Image: Reflection of Frida Kahlo by Rafael Rocha. No medium specified. No size specified. By 2013. By free license.