Three Helga Poems, by Kip Knott
after Lovers, Andrew Wyeth (USA) 1977
There is love here, yes. Beneath every brushstroke
pulses a heartbeat born out of the curve of your hip,
the heft of your breasts uplifted by pulled back arms,
the apple-firm fullness of your set lower lip,
the subtle thorns of lashes framing your crystalline eyes.
Yes, there is love here. Though I have never touched you
save for the light pressure of my palm upon your shoulder,
a gentle repositioning to catch the shifting sunlight streaming
through the window of our secluded studio, I know every secret
your body withholds from the world, and I love them all.
But when I realize that I am beginning to love
the way I see myself reflected in the universe of your pupils,
a crow hanging—wings outstretched—in a moonlit sky,
I instruct you to turn your head and look away from me.
after Overflow, Andrew Wyeth (USA) 1978
I cannot allow the darkness in,
though it waits just outside
the window like the eyes
of all those who would not approve
of my time alone with you.
I try to focus on the light, the way
it glows upon your supine form
stretched across a narrow
bed barely big enough
to hold your body alone.
But with each dappled stroke,
the brush in my hand transforms
you into a marble graveyard angel
toppled by the weight of sunlight
and too many lonely years to count.
after Day Dream, Andrew Wyeth (USA) 1980
I try to imagine the fragrance of your sleeping
breath on my face as it departs your body,
the shadow of a flower dream in which you pick
daisies to weave into a crown that ordains you queen
of a kingdom hidden from outsiders
where I am your subject and you are mine,
but the breeze that blows through the open windows
billows and fills the sheer barrier that separates you from me.
Kip Knott is a past contributor to The Ekphrastic Review. His work has also recently appeared or forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Flash Fiction Magazine, La Piccioletta Barca, and Typishly. His book of poetry, Tragedy, Ecstasy, Doom, and so on, is due out later this year from Kelsay Books. More of his work can be accessed at http://www.kipknott.com.
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