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Kiss

by
 He's gone.
She can't believe it, can't go on.
She's going to give up painting.
So she paints Her final canvas, total-turn-off Black.
One long Obsidian goodbye.
A charcoal-burner's Smirnoff, The mirror of Loch Ness Reflecting the monster back to its own eye.
But something's wrong.
Those mad Black-body particles don't sing Her story of despair, the steel and Garnet spindle Of the storm.
This black has everything its own sweet way, Where's the I'd-like-to-kill-You conflict? Try once more, but this time add A curve to all that straight.
And opposition White.
She paints black first.
A grindstone belly Hammering a smaller shape Beneath a snake Of in-betweening light.
"I feel like this.
I hope that you do, too, Black crater.
Screw you.
Kiss" And sees a voodoo flicker, where two worlds nearly touch And miss.
That flash, where white Lets black get close, that dagger of not-quite contact, Catspaw panic, quiver on the wheat Field before thunder - There.
That's it.
That's her own self, in paint, Splitting what she was from what she is.
As if everything that separates, unites.
Copyright from Voodoo Shop (Chatto, 2002), copyright © Ruth Padel 2002, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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