At a poetry workshop, the facilitator asked us to choose a postcard of famous art works she’d brought in. This is my response to Egon Schiele’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ .
That postcard of ‘The Kiss’
you stuck on my wall
really pissed me off.
The shape was wrong –
oblong not square –
and the paper glossy, not gilded.
Then you kissed me.
It should have been a clue
but I was new to the scene.
‘I could steal your soul,’ you joked,
‘If only you’d let me.’
I was a fool to agree to pose, legs akimbo,
holding the darkest red rose.
‘Dead blooms keep their mouths closed,’ you said.
It was then I knew just what I’d sold.
What could I do but grow bold?
Later, as I lay in your arms,
you told me who you really were.
I misheard, I thought you said ‘toad’.