A kiss on the cheek from my now ex-best friend.
A kiss on the lips from my now ex-lover.
A kiss in the air from an innocent bystander.
A kiss on my fingertips as I wave them goodbye.
Every time she stood near him, time curved. Space warmed. Air thinned.
“Look, Jane, look! A spot on the sun!”
“Don’t stare at the sun, John.”
“Are we going to be happy, Jane?”
“Wait for me to kiss you.”
Air thinned still further.
I push you gently
and you swing out from the edge.
You are floral against the blue beyond the cliff
after a moment
I catch you firmly
and wrap my arms around your waist.
I kiss your neck and you half-twist.
Your dress is thin cotton in the temperate sun.
I push you again
you swing out
legs straight out from the worn wooden seat.
The rope knots squeak
the tree imagined on the edge of the drop.
You swing out above the clouds
my hands on your shoulders
each time you return.
Again I hold on to your waist
and we swing out
above the emptiness
my feet hang down
cutting through clouded air.
Your back is warm through the cotton
my arms are tight.
We swing together
the sun to our side
soft clouds below.
And then we are back on the grass
and you turn
and look in my eyes
and I raise my eyebrows
and you nod
and I nod
and I walk backwards
holding you firm
until I am standing on tiptoes
and then I run forward
and as we swing out
up and out
and I am not sure how
but you let go of the swing and
through the soft warm air.
and we fall
and I do not know why
but I am not afraid of the height or the falling
and you are with me
and I am with you
and you smile and I smile.
Sam tattooed the shape of her kiss on his bicep. Now, through the red-ragged rage and mist of loss, he could look down, and flex, and smile.
Don’t gently touch my hair while I am sleeping. Please don’t blow sweet kisses on the hairline of my neck. You don’t sleep here any more now, do you? No. I feel the draught from the summer-open window. Please don’t breathe the words I cannot hear.
Sleep in slanting morning sunshine.
Or so I’ve heard.
I don’t get hangovers.
I saw my opening and sped up. Unfortunately, so did she. Our bumpers kissed in the car park. She wound down her window and I fell.
Our meetings were sessions
of smiling gazes
that only pulled away from each other
to look at the time
and so strong was the yearning between us
that we often took the luxury
of not kissing
From: Cento poesie d’amore a Ladyhawke, Einaudi, 2007
They kissed and he got off the bus. He stood in the rain and waved from under his umbrella. But, head down, she was texting him goodbye.