In the lead up to Issue VI’s submission deadline, our Editor is sharing six poems which she believes speak to the themes of courage and the symbolic serpent, as well as being linked to Li Ji’s heroism. In preparing your submission (whether it be poetry, prose, photography or art), feel free to be inspired by these pieces.
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird by Pascale Petit
after Frida Kahlo
When I came to you last night in my thorn necklace
with the dead hummingbird, its wings
were flying me back to the day of the accident.
When the moment came for you to enter me
I grinned at the sugar skulls and wax doves
and tried not to think of the crash,
the handrail piercing me like a first lover,
and me bounced forward, my clothes torn off,
my body sparkling with the gold powder
spilt from a fellow passenger. In that slow silence
it’s not true that I cried out. I only thought
about the toy I’d bought that day,
staggered about searching for it, before I collapsed.
They laid me on a billiard table
and saw to the wounded, thinking me dead.
And afterwards, when I came back to life,
they held a Mass to give thanks. As soon as
I could walk, the first thing I did was go
and buy another toy to replace the one I’d lost.
Just as tomorrow night I’ll try again
to get this sex thing right, and the night after that.
Submissions for Issue VI close on May 15th. Guidelines are here.