Frida Kahlo and Other Women with Missing Parts

In just an instant,
Her pelvis
Sh at ter ed
Wandering uterus, empty
An amp-
utated leg, later in life

The vestal virgins promised the fullness of a flame,
Were planted
Screaming as siloed seeds

Nothing to be done but bookkeeping:

Black        /        Dahlia;
lampshades upholstered with sluts
Mona Lisa and her dead smile,
Singed skin of the Napalm Girl
And all the victims of the
of London,
Spiked drinks,
Nuclear households, and
The Bible

Count them all. Her life is war and
h  o  l   e   s
You will recognize her by what’s missing:

Cut out the clitoris,
Excise the eyes—this is no world for a woman to see
(We have the same politics, thank you very much)
Ruled by the heart, they rule the hearth

Nothing to do but remember:

There’s no place like home, no place like home,
Dorothy, without feet, dreams of skipping

Daphne & i are chased through a forest peopled with miscarried
words, wondering what we will lose

What are your measurements?


Ilse Griffin received her BA in English literature and creative writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her MA in TESOL/linguistics from Hamline University, and her Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing from Mankato State University. She is a meditation practitioner, teacher, and year-round bike commuter. She has been published in Where is the River, Funny Looking Dog Quarterly, Pif Magazine, Talking Stick, Anti-Heroin Chic, MayDay Magazine, MayDay Magazine, Bending Genres Journal, and forthcoming in Spry Literary Journal. She loves in St. Paul, Minnesota.