Inscription in Frida Kahlo’s Masterpieces,
Half Price Books

—For Lou

Inside: cramped letters inscribed on the title page, signed Heath, January 9th—the day my husband died fifteen years ago. Addressed to Miyuki, the words so familiar, in Lou’s voice: I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affection, and the truth of the imagination—Keats from a letter to a friend. While Bright Star credits rolled, the actor recited “Ode to a Nightingale” in a whisper. Like John and Fanny, I imagine Heath and Miyuki lovers. He gave her the art book on their anniversary. But she never liked Frida’s art; its rawness reminded Miyuki of botched love.

The pages virginal, turned by me only. I feel Heath’s fervor buying the book, his joy as Miyuki rips speckled tissue, touches the cover, mouths the words inside—the only time she opens the book. On her cocktail table like an albatross—one more thing she never explores. But I want to linger on the moment she sees her lover’s cursive, loops she follows across the page. I see her seated, eyes closed, palms pressed to Frida’s face as Heath speaks the words he knows by heart.

Karen George, retired computer programmer, lives in Florence, Kentucky, and enjoys traveling to historic river towns, mountains, and Europe. She is author of Into the Heartland, Inner Passage, Swim Your Way Back, and forthcoming The Seed of Me. You can find her work in Louisville Review, Memoir, Permafrost, Found Poetry Review and Blue Lyra Review. She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University, reviews poetry and interviews poets at readwritepoetry.blogspot.com, and is fiction editor of the online literary and art journal, Waypoints. Website: karenlgeorge.snack.ws