FRIDA KAHLO COMES TO DINNER Christine M. Strickland
Frida Kahlo has come to dinner, Late, as usual, a little drunk, as usual, Scattering fag ash like confetti, Partnered by her perpetual pain Whose grim claws she wears as lightly As the ribbons on her dress. Undefeated, her thirst for life unquenched, There is more energy in her hair Than in my entire body. The brass band of her beads and bangles Transforms her limping steps Into a fiesta dance, all rainbow skirts And flashing teeth and eyes. Frida Kahlo has come to dinner, Though eating frankly bores her, Gets in the way of talking, drinking, Smoking, making love. Aware of this I give her tiny pastries Olives, nuts, morsels of spiced meat; Fuel for her flame, swallowed without tasting. Frida Kahlo has come to dinner And the carnival never stops. Her long hands are two kites, Trailing coloured tails of laughter, Sketching, in the smoky air between us, Whole galleries of portraits. Frida Kahlo has been to dinner And is now gone, taking the party with her, Leaving this withered Puritan Faded, dusty, unbearably alone.