top of page

  You could have a big dipper   

Portrait of Body as Frida Kahlo Painting Luther Burbank by Emory Brinson

After Portrait of Luther Burbank by Frida Kahlo

I disintegrate

Into fertilizer. petals underneath a body’s palm. cranberries crushed into paint//bloodwine

I am disintegration

The multitude of my body’s pieces (all ache, more pain than peace)

I exist beyond the art and biography and the way my body has failed me.

Reincarnation in motion.

I will disintegrate

Fragment of time and place and body

Seeding of skin//planting of pores

Botany of body, anatomy of growth.

They take cuttings of my wet tissue for replanting

Samples of the way my brain turns just before undergoing the needle

I am disintegrating

Blood and bone and brick dust stripped from under

The epidermis. Isn’t the dense clasp of earth, the reclamation of the body,

Worth everything else?

Paint the way roots take hold of the heart,

Unleashing the strain of its bloody burden from the back and ribcage

With a splintering curl of wood.

To become the fertile soil, length of body flush with resistance; release of the rest

I am the disintegrated

What remains of the body after the stench of death and smoked sinew has faded.

I die with half of a history. A legacy of letting the damp heat of my work

Make up for everything else. Painted in life as I am in death

Peace in pieces//uprooted and unquieted

I flower myself back to life by

Teasing the stick of capillaries from clutch of root cap//capsule

Under lizard tongue.

I become one of your hybrid creatures, grow you from the soft

Of my belly, nutrients in my slowing digestive sap

I have disintegrated

Become the ground beneath your feet//giver of life

Strip away defining features, phenotypes of cross pollination

Unearth only the shards of my remains.

I trade you a face and a body and half a century of work

For a bag of plumcots and a promise

To plant a garden in my grave, ciruelas(clavicle)//fresas(femurs)//limones(liver)

To chew on the fruits of our interjecting labor, my essence sweet and sour on the tongue

Nurture life from between my decaying bones

Where there once was chaos and bloodshed and revolution

Something more than my body of work.

I become the art. The trembling earth. The watershed of want.

A portrait of body//disintegrated

I Joyfully Await The Exit And Hope To Never Return


Emory Brinson is at Brown University studying literary arts and policy. She has been recognized by Scholastic and the National YoungArts Foundation. Recently she was a finalist for the Passages North Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cargoes, VULCANALIA '21, and The Apiary Magazine. @brinson_emory

60 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page