Carolyn Elias

Spotlight: Woman, Where Is Your Crown? / Self Portrait #1

Woman, Where Is Your Crown?

Woman, where is your crown?
Why do you stand there dumb-
founded? It does not abide in the swivel of your hips
or the bouncing of your breasts!
Your crown was not gold wrought from the ground,
and slipped around your finger as a noose!
Your crown was a gift,
a tapestry, woven from iridescent sunbeams,
and laid upon your brow by all the beasts of the earth.

Woman, did you forget
your coronation so quickly?
Your nakedness is not your robe
or shield. Stoop low,
and pick up your crown.
May you never stoop so low again!

Self Portrait #1

I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best. —Frida Kahlo

I paint a caricature aflame
in blood and lust
with pink laughing lips and cheeks,
but my bruise-blue eyes cannot be colored
by the rouge mask.
I ink in my scars.
(but where do I draw the lines?)
Are they too raw
for you to see
or for me to show?
I am afraid
I bleed many colors:
I am glass-green sea alight,
I am a war(rior) shrouded in black,
I am a wife struggling with shadows and light,
I am a woman
rewriting perspective.
My point of view reflected infinitum:
thick alabaster thighs, purple crooked shoulders;
hips swaying in orange abandonment
to a song without tempo in every look-
ing glass; I repaint my nakedness
so that I may see myself

Carolyn EliasCarolyn D. Elias is a poet who lives with her husband, in Hancock, Minnesota. Carolyn’s work has appeared in Sassafras Literary Magazine. Her poems will soon be published by East Jasmine Review and on Apeiron Review’s website. You can learn more about her at or follow her on Twitter @CarolynDElias.

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