sometimes, it’s a lock pick, but you have to turn it
in directions where it’s possible to break.
for Gustav Klimt
The painter is beautiful because he can see
the sway of a woman in a water snake. He names
a painting Hope and means with child. To him,
Eve is not the bedmate of a serpent, she is a soft,
china-colored body for Adam to rest on. What is
Voluptuousness? A pot-belly. Excess? A river
of red hair. Poetry is a girl swimming in a white dress.
Love is a gypsy. Sleep is a witch. The most beautiful
girl in Vienna gave him her first kiss. She went to him
to find out what beauty was. And so, he covered her
in a blanket of carnations. Every woman he painted
had daisies sewn into their curls. What exactly does
a kiss do to a girl? It makes her face fold over,
and her toes turn like scallops in the grass.
as a cushion when
he stumbled, as an
experimental guinea pig
when he wanted to see
how close to the edge
he could push me, as a
punching bag when he
needed to vent, as
prey when he needed
something to capture.
So many purposes,
yet he couldn’t find
a way to love it the way
it ached to be loved.