for Frida Kahlo
is wearing a dress much like the dress
the woman in the painting
She looks as intense, equals her gaze.
Unflinching, the both of them,
like sisters who truly know
what the other admitted
“You’re not the one who paints me,”
one of them cries out at night.
“You can’t make me
pick up the brush
just because it’s what you want.”
And on and on it goes, the paintings multiply,
day by day, the tally uneven.
Until in truce one day they both stand
in a gallery retrospective, side by side.
One smiling but fragile
as crystal. The other unflinching,
having already won