Gustav Klimt, Couple d'Amoureux, drawing.

The drawings were skillfully done, half sketches. I liked the looseness of the lines, how a world could be conveyed with only a few marks of graphite. I imagined Klimt had held his pencil as if it were weightless, as if the pencil had its own mind . . . Wait, there we were. I adjusted my position in bed. Suddenly the pillows were all uncomfortable and the blanket in the way, get out of here blanket!

She looked like me—the shape of her eyes, her smallish forehead, her long hair, and he looked like Omar—his thick, expressive eyebrows, the lines of his forehead, the sharp cheek- bone. His face was half hidden, but what I could see was his intelligent face, his passionate face. And he lay there under her, accepting her desire. I could almost feel him—protective, warm, needing, our eyes closed for the kiss.

I touched the page, even caressed it, foolishly. Even as I was looking at it I wanted to be looking at it. There we were.

At first I hesitated, held the page in my hand, then tore it out of the book in one quick swipe. I folded it carefully on the left so that the crease wouldn’t disturb the image. I slept with it in my hand. I kept it in the back pocket of my shorts where I could touch it as needed—the slick, hot paper like skin.


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