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.