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THE KISS

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By freezing passion at its blossoming
perhaps Rodin knew he challenged
Sophocles who said as lover you want
ice to be ice yet not melt
in your hands. How stone,
implying permanence, might let us believe,
a moment, the seated figures are beyond the leaf
that cannot keep from letting go the branch,
beyond even stupidly purpling grapes
that do not understand the process
by which they darken; darken nevertheless.

Reprinted by permission of the author.
Source: Poetry (Poetry, 1999)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 1999 issue of Poetry magazine

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THE KISS

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  • Neil Carpathios is the author of four full-length poetry collections: Playground of Flesh (Main Street Rag, 2006), At the Axis of Imponderables (winner of the Quercus Review Press Book Award, 2007), Beyond the Bones (FutureCycle Press, 2009), and Confessions of a Captured Angel (Terrapin Books, 2016). His chapbooks have been published as the result of national competition awards, most recently, The Function of Sadness (Slipstream Press, 2015). He is the editor of the anthology, Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio (Ohio University Press, 2015). He has been awarded various grants and fellowships, including three Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards in Poetry. He earned an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and he currently teaches at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

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