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    Tess Gallagher - One Kiss

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    poetictouch

    by poetictouch

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    Tess Gallagher reads her poem One Kiss

    One Kiss
    by Tess Gallagher (1943-)

    A man was given one kiss, one
    mouth, one tongue, one early dawn, one boat
    on the sea, lust of an indeterminate
    amount under stars. He was happy
    and well fitted for life until he met a man
    with two cocks. Then a sense of futility
    and of the great unfairness of life befell him.
    He lay about all day like a teen-aged girl dreaming,
    practicing all the ways to be unconsciously beautiful.

    Gradually his competitive spirit began to fade
    and in its place a gigantic kiss rowed toward him.
    It seemed to recognize him, to have intended itself
    only for him. It's just a kiss, he thought,
    I'll use it up. The kiss had the same things
    on its mind — "I'll use up this man."

    But when two kisses kiss, it's like tigers
    answering questions about infinity with their teeth.
    Even if you are eaten, it's okay — you just become impossible
    a new way — sleepless, stranger than fish, stranger
    than some goofy man with two cocks. That's
    what I meant about the hazards
    of infinity. When you at last begin to seize those things
    which don't exist,
    how much longer will the night need to be?