Munch, on Dagny Juell
after the lithograph, Jealousy II
(Edvard Munch, 1896)
Everything about her is irresistible:
her long black hair that falls into my face
when we make love,
her red lips the color of blood flower.
And what’s more, she loves me too
even though she is the wife of my close friend
and risks her marriage to meet me afternoons
in my studio in the backstreets of Berlin.
Her husband is outraged but she claims
he does not know her as well as I do
or the other men at the Café zum schwarzen Ferkel.
Yes, she has been with a few of them too
but she says I am her most passionate lover,
when I gaze into her eyes I see her soul
and there is nothing she can hide.
In truth, she says, I can never belong to any man,
I am too weak, and then she says,
we are too weak, Edvard, that is why
we will never stay together
and why we need each other so much
we embrace like this in the afternoon light—
surely all of Berlin can see.