Wednesday, July 1, 2009

How To Kiss by Allegra Mira

One of my other projects is Drive-By Poets. It's a public poetry postering project in Northampton, but it has an on-line presence too. Check it out.

Here's the latest poem. Allegra Mira is in New York now but lived in Northampton until recently. She is among my favorite poets and also happens to be a friend; a nice combination.

How to kiss

You had to learn to ask

to find a way

to ask, but not with words:

Indirectly and usually

not aloud

was how you asked.

If the person said yes, you’d

know because suddenly you’d

be doing it:

Mixing streams that connected

parts inside of you,

like an internal

marionette, your lips

suddenly strung

to your crotch,

skin to your heart – Oh

how the kisses pulled

in new ways, Oh

how the kisses changed

everything. How high

the stakes became,

by which I mean the losses,

by which I mean

those who you wanted

but could not have – sometimes

because the asking went wrong,


because you spoke different languages.

But remember those

times when it worked out:

How you got the asking

right, how perfectly indirect

by which I mean, direct

you were, how directly

understood, directly accepted,

How the moment before this kiss

a faith --

Remember the strings’ quake,

tangle, remember


And how for weeks

you were knotted inside


did we ever walk

when we were like that,

and Do we ever come



Mary E.Carey said...

Nice poem!

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