Oct/Nov 2007 Poetry Special Feature

Edvard Munch on Women

by Bob Bradshaw

Edvard Munch on Women

My first time, you ask? It was with Millie.
She pursued me. She was the wife of a cousin,

and I hesitated. But it was my first time.
It was as much determination
as passion.

I was like a man who overcomes his fear of drowning
by taking a sailboat into the heart
of a storm.

I began to long for her, my heart leaping
like a flame among dry timber.
But she abandoned me, found me
"too uncomfortable."

Now, when I paint Millie's face, I rub it
till it pales. She becomes as transparent
as a ghost, a premonition
of her going.

Of course she is already gone,
as is last night's amethyst
colored sky. If I scrape
the paint more, perhaps her face

will vanish altogether,
as if she never existed.
Women are like



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