A shooting star-that spine of light-
sudden in darkness. The lost child starting
its search for the body grief robbed it of. This kiss,
the abandoned body
A kiss as gold and clumsy and glad
as the way tubas
woo wind through Sousa marches.
Rivers spangled with the mystery
every explorer has bequeathed to deep water.
Blissful as a statue’s secret gulping of meteors
the moment after the preoccupied human
A kiss like the names carved
on an old gravestone, filled in with moss.
From loss, summer
starting its green territories again.
Blue-grey of a heron folding itself
into the monastery of the estuary; this kiss, how it feels
to have its solitude fill your body
with love from the necessary
Kisses that touch you the way the symphony
conductor’s hands make love
to music’s body.
A kiss that loves you the way a telescope loves starlight.
Kiss for the part of you hopeless
as the suicide who steps off the bridge into an abyss
that fills quickly with the flat slam of water
black as your father’s anger. No choice
but to give in to this. The letting go. The failing.
Then something small, impossible begins
to happen, just enough wing to hold you. This kiss
After talking to a woman you once loved,
who did not, I think, love you, you found a rock
in a shopping center parking lot.
“It had been run over a lot,” you said. “It didn’t want
to be run over anymore.”
And you took the stone to a small stream
where water in one long kiss covered it and kept
kissing. This is for you, all these kisses
that know how the stone is just water that stopped itself
in order to survive. That know how it feels
to take the unbearable weight
of such heavy machinery bearing down over and over.
like the water you put that stone in, water
that is a kind of weeping, not just for the loss
of the woman, whoever she was, but for all of it,
for what was unspeakable.
Water like love that doesn’t change
the stone, wear it down or carry it away. Just touches it.
That’s all. Touches it.