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Tina Chang
POETRY
                                                                             Audio Provided by From the Fishouse
 

Cutting it Down


What was happening to me was lost in translation,
between the mu in wood and the person who chopped
the tree down with an axe.  Trotsky died with a blow
from an axe.

The night before his demise, Kahlo kissed him,
taking one of her famous roses from her hair
placing it in his lapel. He laid his head down
between her breasts,

needing her shocking color, her feasts and white
frocks. He kissed her swollen mouth, her lips
crowned by tender black hair. He sought a version
of his life past border,     

where Frida floated above him, extinct in her shadow,
her bed in flames. At night a deer inhabited her body,
lit eyes possessing the animal. In a self-portrait
she held her own twin’s hand,

one who was laden down by tradition, another freed
from it, the forced embrace and cleaved tongue flicking
like a serpent’s. When God multiplied the soul,
it fractured,

a splintered beast wandering in the mirror,
strangeness of pleasure in tandem. What does that say
about the spirit, one’s own disaster split in two,
to halve the pain or double it.

 


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