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Novarr, Grace, Art Poems


Grace Novarr
Age: 17, Grade: 12

School Name: Hunter College High School, New York, NY
Educators: Amy Dupcak Remland, Kasumi Parker

Category: Poetry

Art Poems

The Kiss
after staring at a painting for an hour
There is a Klimt painting that’s called The Kiss. The things
that people do to feel close to each other –– like adopting
a new coffee order –– the way Klimt paints, all shapes
that aren’t shapes –– this brief snowstorm, the polar vortex
and its remnants all over our trees –– an edited photograph
on the wall of a rose rising like a sun over the ocean –– this 
gold January and the misery drifting through –– the things
I did to feel far away from you. 
            How we are all the same, although
some of us are addicts and some of us are lonely –– still,
finding each other with every glance –– the way someone’s
eyes look the same when they are laughing and when they
are in love –– how cruelty is more fun than tenderness ––
but we don’t want fun, we want something that curls our
souls like fists at night–– your hands the warm thing ––
my eyes welling up again –– my body is a soft shelter for 
sadness –– you make my loneliness
             uncomfortable, for once. This city
has never depressed me –– but it depresses some –– slow
mornings like sleep, but the eyes are all open, glancing ––
today a woman said good morning to me –– kindness is 
shocking –– like a blast of heat on a cold body –– like feeling
your heart unfurl at long last –– like the way Klimt must have felt
in that fatal instant when he was kissed. 
After Head of a Roman Patrician
Most likely, in years to come,
they’ll find me with my jaws pried open by a zoologist’s hands
clacking away, always still trying to spread my message.
The verism lurks beneath the flesh. Think too hard
and you’ll feel your brain atop your spine. Perched
and forever
about to tumble. Don’t try to picture this,
but you and I are just two stacks,
impostors, pretending. Who let me
come to life and think I had something to say about it?
My nerves fire. My nerves fire. My nerves are afire.
It could all end, and will,
but there will be bones, always. There will be bones,
and sculpture.

Forever, I guess
After The Great Altar of Zeus and Athena at Pergamon
Your hand and its fistful
of my hair –– your mouth and its mouthful
of my tongue        Yesterday,
I let you kiss me for twenty minutes. At certain
moments I imagined I tasted your smile. 
When I freed        your hands you pushed
Brokeback Mountain         off of my lap
and paper crumpled underneath us as we rolled
to the floor.         I didn’t know
how to stop,         or why
I wanted to. 
        To be the same
thing to someone    for so long,
for forever        –– how do they stand it?
I did not want         to let you go
but I did not want    to be let go of.
I’m sorry 
        –– I should have trusted 
the unbreakability of tension
and your gentle hands 

Frieze Dance
after The Parthenon
Our bodies are only columns
I wanted to climb yours
I wanted to find what was at the top
I wanted to see how it felt when 
I traced it with my fingers
If it would feel different than it looked
Most things do: love, heartbreak,
sadness – all so much more beautiful
when framed in your gaze
than when under your tongue or fingertips
Still, I wanted to see 
what we were a part of
I wanted to step out of line
and see the sky not from underneath it
but adjacent
We are only parts
We are not sums
We will never know 
What others know