Man supplicates before woman,
embraces flesh made marble, warmed
by superheated breath.

Lips lost in love, in lust, arms wound
tight, tighter, melt into each other
to share beating hearts and throbs.

What soothe will you caress her with,
bestow that fleeting melding of the soul
beyond which it's impossible to go?

What mere material gift can render whole
the feeling that you're hers
and she is yours?

And, when lost in thought, you mourn
her loss, what memory will bring her back?
The art embodies all of that, and more.

Note: This poem was written in answer to a challenge by greenmountaineer (Dec. 2015) to write about an erotic piece of art. The poem was inspired by four pieces of sculpture: Vertumnus and Pomona, by Camille Claudel, followed by The Eternal Idol, The Kiss, and The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin. All four speak to me deeply.

While researching the sculptures, I found this bit about The Thinker that I didn't know before, which tied it all together: "When conceived in 1880... as the crowning element of The Gates of Hell, seated on the tympanum, The Thinker was entitled The Poet. He represented Dante, author of the Divine Comedy which had inspired The Gates, leaning forward to observe the circles of Hell, while meditating on his work. The Thinker was therefore initially both a being with a tortured body, almost a damned soul, and a free-thinking man, determined to transcend his suffering through poetry."

I hope the poem does even a bit of justice to the art.

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