Is it vanity that spurs me on –
or pure curiosity? I make the most
of all my flaws. Boast my awful upturned
nose like Kahlo did her brows. Proud.
I usually paint old men with tinted skin, all creased
like linen hanging out to dry. I paint myself
the same, with wrinkles I can barely see. I daub on
parti-coloured skin and stain my wrists with blue.
Otherwise my palette tires of all the cream
I paint the woman I’d like to be. A woman
with eyes that reek of knowing and gun-metal
gleam. Her mind – it ticks sharp as a clock and
she sips whisky like a goddamn queen.
Poem written in 2013 when I felt free, photograph taken in 2010 whilst feeling trapped.