How to Sculpt a Perfect Kiss – by Kathleen Strafford


While studying Rodin’s Kiss
she moulds lumps of clay
                         creating two heads

                                    flicking away clumps of earth
                           until features begin to appear

    & tilted faces begin to convey a calm
                              delight        their grey lips
but they could not
and would not
                                         it was impossible.
                                                     In response the Professor shrugs
For another week
she primps his nose
                                    plumps her lips
                                          halfway closes eyelids
                                                 forcing cheeks to nuzzle
but the clay heads rebel
                                                    refusing to kiss            perfectly

Fuming with frustration and the feeling of failure    she gives up

                                                 placing one hand behind each head
                                     she smears the two difficult
                                                                 faces together
                                                                        twisting hard
                                                                                        like this
Professor calls her work genius.




Kathleen Strafford is a student at Trinity University in Leeds studying for her MA in creative writing.  She hopes her first collection of poetry Her Own Language will be published this coming year.  Her poems have appeared in Interpreter’s House, Butcher’s Dog, Algebra of Owls, The Fat Damsel and various anthologies.

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