Love Notes (The Lava-Edge)

I situate art not in reality but in relation to desire

Back and forth
my heart is torn
different lonelinesses

I am the way towards death
with the breath of life on my tongue
while I leave you
your moist hand confuses you

Oh good God
I repeated
the whole
night through

Could you not come sooner
while it is still light
and the silence is clear and yellow
could you not come sooner
before the darkness blinds us

You don’t need the keys
the door locks behind you

Death is natural
to be afraid of
but I’m going to
marry a pillow still
I’ve got enough
black velvet
to marry a king

We’re running
out of nights
and they’re bringing in
the artworks
for everyone to see

Sharpen your teeth my love
let my tongue move carefully between
till it reaches beyond your weeping

The moral of this story is that it’s
almost impossible to distinguish
between an extinct volcano
and a dormant one

Love Notes (The Lava-Edge) was originally part of a selection of texts published in the artist book The Lava-Edge, Amsterdam/Reykjavik: Fodor/The Living Art Museum, 1983; and included in Marlene Dumas, Sweet Nothings. Notes and Texts, first edition Galerie Paul Andriesse and De Balie Publishers Amsterdam, 1998; and second edition (revised and expanded) Koenig Books London, 2014.