Frida Kahlo

—“I paint myself because I am so often alone

 and because I am the subject I know best.”—

I find you in the framed landscape

black and white almost lost

in the crush of bodies arranged

for some long-forgotten photographer’s lens

Students on tour up from Veracruz

have rushed past to crowd the bar

shouldered bodies and backpacks

through this narrow hallway with

its dark paneling, skirting the sprawl

of tropical plants, their terracotta pots

I want to tell them you are here

shout how they’ve missed you

in their single-minded rush to sate

thirsts that won’t include tasting

your art, your eyes peering from

beneath those heavy brows in

endless self portraits I’ve studied

like icons from some lost religion

And yet I want it to be just the two of us

in this alcove away from Casa Azul with its

endless traffic now, pointing fingers

clicking cameras that will never find you

Long to tell you how through the years

I’ve loved your severity, your stoicism

in the face of so many kinds of pain

your breaking (bounds, boundaries, bonds)

and making it somehow part of your art

so I simply photograph your photograph

and slip past the next glut of tourists

pouring from their green VW taxis

to sit quietly at a table with a view

of San Juan Bautista’s gothic towers

breathe in Coyacán and know

it is enough.