Instantly, I’m on the defensive:
Can yours roar?
are your brows birds?
Each unplucked hair
boats across oceans,
home – azul like nothing in nature
yet rooted in revolution’s bullets
over clothing lines, burrowing
holes in white linens and the busted bus
that burrowed holes in bone,
rods that held her together,
back brace that broke her heart.
Her brows, the only body part
not saturated in tragedy like gangrene–
hungry, ravenous even.
How it swallowed her feet whole,
smacked its lips, choking down each toe.
Kid, what do you know
of lust and love that lives
that outlasts body parts?
What do any of us know of
tending to that unhealable wound?
I was lucky, I birthed a son
who bares her name,
and if I raise him right,
her spirit too in each hair
of his tiny brows like her brows,
which I praise when my husband,
the same man who held my hand
though the blood and horrorshow of birth,
jumps his hand away from my unshaved leg
like its prickles are fire,
like the hair will swallow him whole.
How thankful I am, to her brows,
for giving me the strength to say
I’ll shave mine when you shave yours
without apology for being woman.
Oh holy conjoined black bears,
that drink to swim, not drown.
Holy untweezed revealers
of a woman’s multitudes-
flowers that bloom
from a dying head.
When I show my class a picture of Frida,
a student yells Oh Shit,
Then, takes a photo with his phone.
She’s gonna be my background.