Letter to Georgia O’Keeffe


What would you say to a child’s pastel bathed
Fingertips as they worked, determined to witness
what you saw within each bodily
Curve of a flower’s lip and enveloping chastity?
Would you have been ashamed?
That the child discarded their vibrant flower
Simply because another tormented her, jest
That her Bleeding Heart looked like a vagina?

What would you say if you knew
She adorned the landscape that God had given
Her in shame? Obscuring her every bit of flesh
In the scorching sun so as to avoid exposing
Her flourishing child-bearing hips?
How would you paint her?
As your Red Hills and Bones? Spine and femur
Weeping behind a fortress un-ventured?

How would you paint her now?
As she gags on her own sorrows projected
At the fresh bands of femininity pressing to the surface?
Would you paint her as Ram’s Skull with Brown Leaves?
Stained and exhausted chasms curling as a falling fortress,
Weary from life as the still yet juvenile skin
Of her motherly promise began to stretch thin,
Seen as a cattle brand instead of warrior scars

What was it that you said?
“I decided to start anew, to strip
Away what I had been taught.” To
Kneel to metamorphosis is the ultimate
Pilgrimage, and this child has become a woman.
As you clench proudly at the meat of your breast,
Every shadow of your living corpse is
Beauty.

How would you paint her now?
As your Flower of Life ii?

The boiling blood of her heart
Preforming a crescendo for her
Supple and full breasts,
Planting creation within her shy,
Pink carnation.

Sensitive to touch.

What was it again?

“I feel there is something unexplored
about women that only a woman
can explore.”

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