They are kissing, on a park bench, on the edge of an old bed, in a doorway or on the floor of a church. Kissing as the streets fill with balloons or soldiers, locusts or confetti, water or fire or dust. Kissing down through the centuries under the sun or scats, a dead tree an umbrella, amid derelicts. Kissing as Christ carries his cross, as Gandhi sings his speeches, as a bullet careens through the air towards a child’s good heart. They are kissing, long, deep, spacious kisses, exploring the silence of the tongue, the mute rungs of the upper palate, hungry for the living flesh. They are still kissing when the cars crash and the bombs drop, when the babies are born crying into the white air, when Mozart bends to his bowl of soup and Stalin bends to his garden. They are kissing to begin the world again. Nothing can stop them. They kiss until their lips swell, their thick tongues quickening to the budded touch, licking up the sweet juices. I want to believe they are kissing to save the world, but they’re not. All they know is this press and need, these two-legged beasts, their faces like roses crushed together and opening, they are covering their teeth, they are doing what they have to do to survive the worst, they are sealing the hard words in, they are dying for our sins. In a broken world they are practicing this simple and singular act to perfection. They are holding onto each other- They are kissing.

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Next Title: Amo Ergo Sum By Kathleen Raine