by David Solway (October 2023)
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, Gustav Klimt, 1907
Now that you’re away
I have a confession to make.
Your absence gives me the chance
to spend quality time with my mistress.
She is quiet and attentive,
neither cold nor lewd,
sweet and lissome as a little wind
who never ceases to caress,
who never leaves my side,
who is without pretensions
and never sets her wits to mine, forsooth,
nor dreams of others
nor lets herself be distracted
by petty troubles or pretty compliments.
She consorts with my every mood
and is faithful to my slightest whim.
She does not pout or bridle when I brood.
She is straight out of Gustav Klimt, gold leaf and all,
filling the interim with melancholy glimmers.
I have surrendered to her many enveloping charms.
I am lost in a state of leisurely dalliance.
Her scent is like the scent of a good wine,
fresh and seasoned
with apple, pear and peach, well chambréd.
The taste of her mouth is gingerbread and sauterne,
her kiss is nectarine.
She is my wife-in-waiting
should you ever leave me.
Her name, if you must know,
her lovely resonant name,
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