Runcible Spoon

poetry and prose webzine

Poetry Prose Submissions Contributors Home heart logo Privacy Notice Links 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.