Elegy for Ana Mendieta


                    – after seeing Untitled (Volcano Series #2)
It begins with
a single silhouette
white coffin ghost in
a handmade volcano
vaginal and then,
frame by frame, erupting.
Before her husband
killed her, she gave up
drinking. She said
women’s art isn’t respected
until they’re old so
I have to live
a long life, but Ana only got
to three years past Jesus
before she was thrown
from a thirtieth floor window
the year she was married.
She had a Times obituary
last year, a too-late
solo at the Whitney.
I wish I could think of her
there, light-lined face lit
by cloud flash of camera.
But I can’t help it,
I always imagine
that final frame
silhouette born
of impact, face buried
brown body

Rachel Smith

Rachel Mann Smith is a poet and physician living in Atlanta, GA. She holds a BA in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Frontier Poetry, A3, and Atticus Review, among others.