Rodin’s ‘The Kiss’
I think that ‘The Kiss’ may be partly mine.
We all of us bought it, coming and going,
Our silver and copper gathered and growing
To flower into this.
I think I may own the dip in her spine,
Or his right thumb-nail, or her ankle-bone.
We could each claim our stake in this couple of stone –
Heel or knee, here it is.
We public have paid for these lovers, their crate
And insurance and travel and hoist through some door,
To settle, still kissing, on this piece of floor
Near postcards and coats.
We can sit on the circular seats and debate
The sculptor who found them, manhandled them out,
Caressing and tender, what true love’s about,
his breath in their throats.
Models, wry-necked with a crick and a chill
From stretching and bending, embracing so long,
Have given their bodies to rock. They belong,
Petrified into bliss.
Petrified, silenced, separate, still,
The rag-bags of women, the cast skin and bone,
Whose life was sucked out and transformed into stone
Which we own, called ‘The Kiss’.
Ruth Silcock lives in Oxfordshire and used to be a social worker. A collection of poems Mrs Carmichael was published by Anvil Press in 1987. Several childeren’s stories have also been published.