I hope for a happy exit and I hope never to come back.
--the last entry in the diary of Frida Kahlo, 1954
I. The women sprinkle holy water on the sidewalk as they pass the house where Diego painted the courtyard walls, volcanic stone from San Angel.
Inside Casa Azul the blue parrot chases hens and she begins the long ceremony of dressing: rings studding the fingers of both hands, earrings
of heavy gold filigree hung to her shoulders, bougainvillea to wind and unwind in her hair. Last, the skirt arranged to hide the orthopedic shoe.
The women know the stories of the hospitals and the x-rays that shot light through her bones, illuminating nothing. …