The Kiss


What is there so fragile as this kiss?
To bend her close, as she is sleeping;
to watch her from her dream awaken
into morning’s evanescent beauty;
to suffer her up into the heart
of warmth, into these arms’ embrace.


Thus, in the Musée Rodin: that embrace
unrequited, that interdicted kiss,
incised and polished, those hearts
enmarbled in a frieze of sleeping,
as if in that purgatorial beauty
they are from a spell still unawakened.

August sculptor, in us you awaken
glimpses of remembrance, when we embraced
such canticles and myths – the frail beauty
of childhood, a mother’s fragile kiss
in the cradle as we are sleeping

revenance from a chiselled heart.

There they are, in the second circle’s heart,
that dolorous hostelry of awakened
misery. Motionless as if sleeping,
arms ellipsed in an arrested embrace,
eyes mute of all light, lips parted to kiss,
souls at the precipice of beauty.

Camille, Rosamond, Aurora, la belle
au bois dormant
, Francesca, the heart
of Guinevere, awaiting a kiss
from one who is himself unawakened,
caught in each other’s eternal embrace,
together waiting, longing, sleeping –

Dreaming, perchance, of when this sleeping
unfastens its raiment of beauty,
subjugates reason to this embrace,
lets love conduct them both unto one heart,
stirring flesh into a pliant awakening.
Your eyes, your face, your lips, your kiss

Stir now this beauteous world from sleeping.
From dissolution’s heart, from night’s embrace
let us awaken, thus – the kiss.