The Person I Know Best


Ema Dumitru


Digital art by author

“I never painted dreams.
I painted my own reality.

I paint self-portraits
because I am so often alone,
because I am the person
I know best.”

—Frida Kahlo

This is the spell I don’t say aloud.
I want to know her and ruin her for anyone else.
And there’s no tragedy,
She’s already carrying inside her the intent
to be lost.

Standing backlit,
restrained and temporary
in 18 x 24 inches.
Version of myself
quivering blue and printed,
crying for form and breath.

Those are my eyes,
a wound made of pixels.
Pushing behind lashes
until light empties the room.
And as the air moves,
she stays a life’s span in a single place,
a chair, the color-washed wall
like a crazy illness.

If she can fit in my head,
she’s smaller than me. Yet she snaps
a thought like a…