Featured Writer Gail Goepfert

Frida Kahlo Speaks to Ada Limón about Bright Dead Things

–after Ada Limón

I am a keeper of lists.  An apprentice of all the ways to be silent.  Fused to Diego sleeve-to-sleeve his colossus of a body in overalls, my heart straddles the border between my home, my home, my Mexican barrio, and Diego’s America choked with smokestacks.  I learned muted silence from one, two, twenty and more surgical incisions. Stitched-up and struck numb in the airless sheets of my bed, I await resurrection in a bounty of silence—madness silence and the broken harness of marriage silence and the silence of painted coconuts weeping and then the silence that bellows in my ears from tangled infidelity and bottomless pain and lost-hope babies and surrogate lovers until it dims all the bright dead things. I listen for a hum in the mercy of silence, count all the silent places where I’ve grieved the shredding of my breath.


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 was released in early 2019 by Červená Barva Press.

Image: Frida Kahlo by Guillermo Kahlo (1871-1941). Gelatin silver print. 15.2 x 10.8 cm. 1932. Public domain.