after Frida Kahlo
These are the self-portraits that sell –
my face only, surrounded by my pets,
not the broken and open body.
See how I am staring straight at you,
I who painted this with brushes of flame
and who cannot tell you exactly
where I have been this morning.
My lips are sealed. But I can’t
silence Bonito. He perches just below
my left ear, repeating sounds he learnt
from the sun, when he flew into its core.
Fulang-Chang went with him, swinging
through the canopies of fire forests,
searching for the leaves of the tree
that burns at the centre of my life.
These leaves are the few he brought back –
dry as straw, they still hum many years
after my body has cooled. And you –
how long will you listen to these colours
before you hear the language of light?