Rhonda J. Nelson Tampa (Silvia Curbelo)
Dorothy Hale In a Madame X Dress
after Frida Kahlo’s painting, The Suicide of Dorothy Hale
Six a.m. is a solstice between a woman’s seasons
Between her music and a wrecking ball. The longest night
Between traffic and a top story suite. The shortest day
Between centuries and circumstance.
Beauty is an avalanche between work of art and housecoat.
After folly, plummeting, frayed as a hem.
Plain is never a woman’s proverb.
Every man’s rationale a storm: Better a cardinal than a crow.
What other option? Beauty fades, blood stains.
Windowsill, the equator -- Inside the rubber sole
Grips her to the ground, outside, the dark rope pulling
The stiletto heel releasing footloose into the sky’s
Cool embrace on her bare shoulders above the scandalous dress.
The difference between hummingbird and dragonfly.
Between lips and whisper.
She falls like a half-muttered phrase.
Then falls like black fruit from the tallest branch.
Lands heavy as thunder.