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Runcible Spoon

heart logo Privacy Notice William Doreski

                 Boxing a Kiss

 

Boxing a kiss and stashing it

on the top shelf of the closet

insures me against a future

 

shaped like a crashing zeppelin.

One friend dead of lung cancer,

another overdosed on caffeine,

 

a third crushed by a meteor

while he strummed a guitar atop

a windy hillock in Central Park.

 

Any of these fractures could split

my favorite organs and leave me

husked in public where children

 

could stomp on my wormy fingers

and pop my eyeballs with sticks.

Your terms— “morbid” and “silly”—

 

fail to address the geometry

I learned in high school by plotting

triangles with acute or obtuse

 

or even right angles designed

both to re- and misdirect.

That stored kiss will sustain me

 

the way a cache of pemmican

could sustain a trapper all winter

on a wind-washed, treeless plain.

 

You offer a fresh kiss, small enough

to pocket for later when alone

on my walk along the back roads.

 

But I’d rather savor the thought

of the kiss I’ve boxed and hidden

for the moment I have to confront

 

the naked, screamy, green-haired fates—

their sexless outrage blunted

by the faintest hint of pink.