Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Coyoacán

A headless pre-Columbian ceramic urn
in the shape of a toad-frog
displaying my ashes
here and its cobalt-blue

plaster corset which held me in place
its embedded mirrors, its collages
still naked in their want

I am a mestiza
anti-colonialist, the exotic “other”
long ruffled Tehuana skirts, huipil blouses
turquoise Aztec necklaces
gardenia blossoms in my braids.

Always the now
I paint my Diego

the other day on the train
at my side una anciana, an old woman.
Do you like night? she says.
El primer beso?

What gifts were you given, and curses? she says.
I liked the unibrow and eyes.
But fitted with a wooden leg

where these androgynous vines and roots
that wrapped around naïve folk art

magenta the most alive, the oldest shade.

Much more besides,
my Casa Azul on Calle Londres in Coyoacán
the name from Nahuatl “place of coyotes”

cobblestone streets, small plazas,
a borough of Mexico City

fiestas with mezcal, mole poblano tamales

my pain attached to a fetus
tequila and morphine

the days, I sat in this walled courtyard,
a menagerie of macaw parrots
hairless Xoloitzcuintle dogs, a fawn

two spider monkeys at my side
prickly pear cacti, yucca, and zinnias

the orange tree.

Ilona Martonfi