Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 15 . . .

Two Voices:  Frida’s Heart

     poem by Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda
     after Frida Kahlo’s “Memory, or the Heart” 1937. Oil. private collection.

Is it Diego who slices me

                                                I want to cut him,

from the body, or did you

                                                            hollow each chamber,

crop your raven hair short,

                                                cast him aside like spoiled meat.

manlike, and then slash me

                                                            I want to amputate my heart,

from the chest? Streams of blood

                                                feel nothing, all those women

pour into the ocean

                                                            in his lustful embrace.

and flush to sea. I am

                                                No longer clothed like a Mexican,

still beating: a nautilus

                                                            I abandon him,

cast ashore. My melodies       

                                                flee to New York City,

fade as you break down—

                                                            take lovers: men, women.

your school uniform and

                                                I want to hurt him,

native garb dangling from ropes.

                                                            but what does he know of pain?

Wearing a plain skirt,

                                                My foot bandaged, toes gone,

a tawny jacket flashy

                                                            at times I dress like a man,

with splotches of white, you

                                                roam streets,

do nothing as clouds pull

                                                            my dreams without him:

demons into shivering sky.

                                               center stage.

Let me back inside. Let me

                                                            Long into night

sever the cords

                                                I drink Cinzano,

holding your beloved apparel,

                                                            curse my sister for giving in

throw out the liquor, lovers

                                                to his advances.

doleful cries. Do not

                                                            Heart. Oh, Heart.

abandon me like an Aztecan child

                                                Tear yourself free

sacrificed to the gods.

                                                            so I can live again.

Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda served as Poet Laureate of Virginia from July 2006 to July 2008. She has published five books of poetry and co-edited two poetry anthologies. Her poems have appeared in Hispanic Culture Review, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Mid-American Review, Antioch Review, Passages North, and Anthology of Magazine Verse & Yearbook of American Poetry, among others. Her awards include four grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, a Council for Basic Education fellowship award, an Edgar Allan Poe first-place award, a Virginia Cultural Laureate Award, and others. Carolyn also works as a visual artist, whose paintings have been widely displayed. Her website is

© 2009 Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda