Ranking Kisses

Courtesy: Li Hui

Courtesy: Li Hui

The worst was from the New Orleans “artist”
who prefaced a wet one by tucking
a sprig of jasmine behind my ear.

I sneezed and my face broke out in hives,
like it did at my cousin’s wedding
after I dove for her bouquet.

The best was unexpected, a waiter who tongued
my addled mouth after we’d been fishing
despite the stench on me of guts and worms.

I dated a guy who would only eat garlic if I
did, too. A good make-out session is not for the faint
of heart, the clove counters, the self-conscious.

Keep your purloined blossoms
and give me garlic lips, onion breath,
the stench of sunfish entrails.

If love is blind, kissing
should be the body’s odorous
braille writ large.