after Mendieta’s Siluetas
The world said all we can see is your body and she said see it here, world, in an open tomb in Yagul, overtaken by flowers.
The world said women are most legible when committing acts of self-sabotage and she said demented, demeaning world, watch these rocks of yours, watch a woman heave and breathe as she emerges from beneath them.
She said watch a woman carve herself out of her own hands, she said here I am—coming out from under your endless dirt, world, making it give way to my knees and legs and if a sublime inversion of death from beneath your rocks isn’t art, world, than what’s your regard worth anyway?
And the world said but you’re the wife and she said please regard me from behind this mustache, this beard, this bleeding down my face. She said world, you are green insect, spectre, man to plant.
She said shadowy planet, a woman can catch the light despite you, can outlast, digitized in twigs, rocks, ash and gunpowder, can flame back a million times in burning silhouette.