The grand staircase of the Stockholm National Museum
Is carpeted in madonna blue.
Here the students sit and listen to the Summer concerts.
That afternoon it was only the rehearsal,
Hans Leygraf playing Mozart at the grand piano.
Arm in arm we pressed our feet so very slowly on each tread
As if reluctant to reach the top
As the notes drifted down from the balcony.
Above was a huge fresco of garlands, flags, impossible cavaliers,
Their horses too clean in that field of mud.
We wandered from gallery to gallery,
From sonata to sonata,
From the gentle yellows and urgent reds of E1 Greco
To the gush of Boucher.
Then in the main gallery with its dome of alternating glass and stone
You bent low and through the open neck of your dress
I glimpsed your breasts suffused with sunlight.
That evening we made love in the high bed of our high hotel,
And yet that sight of your breasts
Sudden and unpremeditated
Was to me more beautiful.
© Derek Power