Anatomy of a Vagina

by Frankie Saxx

"I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower" — Georgia O'Keeffe

The first impression is the overwhelming color of it all. Delicate shell pink, expected. Sun-bleached russets, expected. Bone white, expected. Expected are the bruised purples emerging from pale lavender, sudden yellow stripes amid a tangle of pastels, and blues like early morning fog and robin's eggs, October skies and faded flags.

Unexpected is the menstrual tide of red: fiery scarlet, seething ruby, deep velvet carmine, all the way to a maroon so dark it might be mistaken for black in some light.

It is not the golden ratio of spiral shells that draws the eye first, nor the angularities of city skylines, not even the familiar popular images of coy and virginal calla lilies or lewd irises, but the bloody explosions of the poppies and the snap dragons and the cannas.

"I am often amazed at the spoken and written word telling me what I have painted." — Georgia O'Keeffe

Paintings hang on long white walls, a gallery of Rorschach portraiture—

Here, death in the barren expanse of a sun-baked desert; in the hard, precise lines of a horse's skull; in the blind bone arch of a pelvis. Azure sky viewed through the eye of the obdurator canal seems to say, when you are all gone to dust and bone, sand and stone and sky will remain.

There, female sensuality in the unrepentant fecundity of the flowers.

"You have written your dream picture of me—and I am not that way at all." — Georgia O'Keeffe

The nub of the stigma nestles in a luxurious profusion of brilliant petals. Organic curves, captured by the sweep of a brush, and deepening shades draw the eye inward. Hidden in the lush folds of petal are the style, the ovary, the ovule—the secret places of the flower, present only by inference. Stamens, when they appear at all, gather in the background, their thin filaments and anthers a decorative afterthought.

Sometimes a flower is just a flower.