Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
Her preferred lipstick color was “Everything’s Rosy”
by Revlon, her favorite makeup brand. Polio weakened
her body at age six. At eighteen she was a passenger on
a bus that collided with an electric trolley car in Mexico City:
an iron handrail impaled her pelvis “the way a sword pierces
a bull.” She sustained a punctured uterus and thirty broken bones.
A fellow passenger was traveling to the National Theater
carrying pure gold leaf; the impact of the collision scattered
flecks of gold all over Frida’s devastated body. Nothing was rosy.
She said, “I now live on a painful planet, transparent as ice.”
Frida adorned herself with traditional dresses and regal coiffures
from a matriarchal Oaxaca society. A lone vision in her own Eden,
she dreamed and consumed fiery alcohol and painkillers to excess
while spider monkeys and vines climbed her gold-flecked soul.
Julia Caroline Knowlton PhD MFA is a poet and Professor of French at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta. Recognition for her poetry includes an American Academy of Poets College Prize and a 2018 Georgia Author of the Year award. She is the author of four books. She is writing a new book of poems in the form of biographical sonnets.