What a Kiss Could Involve

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And then I started to kiss

from nothing, out of nowhere, for

some kind of passing thrill like

eavesdropping or trying on a stranger’s

underwear, And you did it, too, everybody

did it, we could see them in the bushes, under

veils of leaves, exchanging small hollow oaths

then moving on.      But I didn’t know

what a kiss could involve, what I could taste on

your tongue, the intimacies, your mother’s

cooking smells, the picked scabs of your childhood,

the warm coils of your intestines, the whispers

when the lights were out. And what you licked

of me, your tongue like a shelless

snail in my mouth carving out a home,

slipping under my door, peeling back

my lips like covers, lingering over

a pink crib and then pushing back

still further, into the womb

where I thought I could

be alone.

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