by Angele Ellis
Francesca Woodman (1958-1981), daughter of artists,
jumped from a Manhattan rooftop during a struggle
with depression. She gained posthumous fame
for her innovative photography of the body.
Your mother worked steadily
in the wake of your death,
peasant feet in painted slippers.
Shocked from function to form,
she blanketed a wall in Beijing
with pottery birds suspended in flight.
Your father abandoned abstraction,
clinging to the women he shuttered.
He clicked on a tattoo, kohl-rimmed zero.
The back of the model exposed
by her checkered schoolgirl uniform
stared at him, aperture of failure.
You—figure in the yellow wallpaper
blur of beautiful body and shadow
Eros with singed feathers and wild Psyche
Icarus with designer wings, fallen.
No ID but your polka dot dress and
your face, unrecognizable.