Julie Brooks Barbour


            After Kahlo's Memory, or the Heart

I give one arm to the uniform I wore as a girl
and the other to a dress, a version of me

someone loved. The sleeves of my jacket empty,
they bend like a doll's starched clothing.

The dress threads its arm through
one sleeve, assures me we're old friends.

The school uniform extends its arm
but cannot reach me. Someone drilled

a perfect hole through my hollow chest
for games, inserted a seesaw small cupids ride

to give me back the feeling of a heart
with their continuous pumping. Somewhere

in this landscape of earth and ocean,
my disembodied heart grows larger, a beast

that pumps blood in excess and floods the land.
It threatens the shoreline, the sea.

Julie Brooks Barbour is the author of Small Chimes (Aldrich Press, 2014). Her most recent chapbooks are Beautifully Whole (Hermeneutic Chaos Press, forthcoming 2015) and Earth Lust (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her poems have appeared in Waccamaw, Four Way Review, diode, storySouth, UCity Review, Prime Number Magazine, burntdistrict, The Rumpus, Midwestern Gothic, Blue Lyra Review, and Verse Daily. She is co-editor of Border Crossing and an Associate Poetry Editor atConnotation Press: An Online Artifact. She teaches composition and creative writing at Lake Superior State University.

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