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Poetry / Fran Fernández Arce

‘Self-Portrait in Flint & Limestone’

Issue 3. January 15, 2022


Today’s face has been           

self-assembled from

flint & limestone.       

Raw, unsculpted

rocks, today’s face


does not exist for kisses.

It bruises lips & cuts  

soft edges without

noticing. Its teeth crackle       


like thunderbolts

over lilac skies, feral  

minerals from

the ground waiting                 

to erupt. Today’s face


should not be pitied   

but ask yourself

if it wants to be                      

feared. What are faces

for but to intimidate   


& construct,

to chase the magma               

running underneath

its translucent veins   

of sulfur & revolt?

Pay no mind                           

to the flecks over


the canvas, the                       

disruption waiting to spring

forth. Today’s face                 

holds microscopic galaxies

of sand & varnish                   

and demands attention.


Its skin may be                       

coarse, granulated,

rough, but it makes                

a portrait that glides over

the unsuspecting                    


eye. Today’s face

has been turned

into art & geologies               

of the ground but still wants

to be seen, still wants

you to ask.





Fran Fernández Arce is a Chilean poet currently living in the intersection between Santiago, Chile, and Suffolk, England. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Pollux Journal, Firmament, and Epoch Press, among others.

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