the kiss

after Gustav Klimt's painting
gold is you on your knees,
the way the body lies sideways
and spilt, a dress over the bones and
the air shimmery and full, hanging
over the morning like a dream and
the dream hanging like a noose–
your mouth is open &begging&shined
glistening in the way a fish dies gloriously
drowned in yellow air, bones pointing
to the sea, reminding me that all bodies
come back and back: in ecstasy, in exaltation,
it is your hands that I call the great pilgrimage
of grief. it is your waist that teaches me
the constellated hollows of light, the incendiary
curves of a pooled angel, your softness
which empties and reflects in the same
lovely breath. those graves of lovers
that must be sewn in your heavenly
lungs, those golden ice birds that
sing your beauty, even they are
put to shame by the sheer vastness
of your marigold colored weeping.
virgin, bride, sweetness. sweetness
all for me. give me your body and
i will give it back new and awake.
your mouth tips and from it
a breath so swift and sweet and fatal,
that it is the garden of eden opened
and closed all at once. this touch
is the prayer I have always wanted to find.
you are divine and divinity herself. you
lend me your pale and welcome cheek and
I know that there is only God
& everyone else.

 Der Kuss, 1908. Oil on Canvas. Courtesy of Klimt Museum.

Der Kuss, 1908. Oil on Canvas. Courtesy of Klimt Museum.

Mia Nelson is a high school senior from Colorado, where she attends Denver School of the Arts. Her writing has been recognized by the Foyle Young Poets Prize, Hollins University, Columbia College, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Never Such in Innocence Poetry Prize, Stories on Stage, Hippocrates Prize for Poetry, the Claudia Ann Seaman Award for Fiction, & Princeton University. She has work published in YARN, Calliope, Crashtest, Cadaverine and Canvas Literary Journal. She is also a Denver Public Schools Slam Poetry Competition winner as well as a qualifier for the Denver youth slam poetry team Minor Disturbance. Her poetry has been recently nominated for a 2017 pushcart prize.