What bites is when he begs me through the gag
to stop shoving my lips down people’s throats.
I thought my lips a sleeping bag
for a kiss to unzip and get comfy in
under the stars.
I thought them the asymptote of the curve
we kiss on, a ratio fast approaching
I thought my lips symptoms of all the beauty-
sleep I’d pissed away
in the throes—and how they’d vanish
in the puff of a kiss
at the close of a fable
about doing an about-face.
How his lips read like a warning label on the kiss—
a skull-and-crossbones of pale and thin, and mine
the only antidote known to him.
I could go on forever.
So I cooked up a little plan for the kiss.
At first our lips will act knock-kneed.
Then they’ll lock
like the knees of a gymnast
on her dismount from the beam—
the opening sequence in a dream routine.
Or they’ll lock like our tongues
were keys to red deadbolts.
Or else like our tongues were the keys
to the teen diaries of our lips,
filled with talk of knees turning to jelly.
I’ll stick to it yet.
I still think a good kiss is foolproof.
Here’s a list of fabrics lips would come in
if lips came in fabrics:
If you could choose from an array
of lip-prints, which would you choose?
Lips to fit your every mood.
I think I would slip into something a little more comfortable.
To keep my shapely kiss,
I follow a daily regimen.
First I give it plenty of fresh air
Next I exercise it.
I monitor its snacking
and liquor intake.
Keep in mind,
when a kiss can pinch an inch
it’s liposuction time.
Grenadine for day.
A frost, Fireworks, for night.
In tiny, mirrored case,
in studded handbag,
in crystal-fixtured powder room.
Give me the works!
The whole shebang.
when I’m pissed—
my lips go off like a pistol.
The spit flies.
Some bounce right off him.
Some sing past.
Once I co-founded a lip service.
The public’s response was resounding.
A hot line had to be installed.
The night shift were laid-off ventriloquists.
Your lover doesn’t even come close,
that was our policy.
When I saw how I was taking my work home with me,
I fired myself. I mean I retired. Meanwhile,
shares in the once Mom-and-Pop operation
skyrocketed. Today it’s worth a small fortune.
What is the sound of one lip kissing?
My lips cast a shadow
on the wall of his face.
I can do bunnies and German shepherds.
I can do passing headlights,
down to the patterns they throw
as loosely as a shawl across him—
for one moment, the dark crocheted with light.
Only the kiss looms.