Written for: Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – “Shortcake, Waffles, Berries, and Cream . . . Feburary! (posted by Sanaa)
“Joseph O Legaspi is a poet born in the Philippines. When he was only twelve, his family immigrated to Los Angeles, California, his life has always been oriented towards writing. Author of the poetry collections Threshold (2017) and Imago (2007), Legaspi has been honored with a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation of the Arts.”
THE KISSER’S HANDBOOK
Awkward and dry is love.
A moist kiss simmers as cherry pie.
A peck reddens into poppy.
Several feed like birds in your hands.
The first kiss carries history. The customary roses,
a bouquet received by two.
On the right side of her mouth, she is your mother.
On the left side, she’s the sister you never had.
If delicate yet firm, a kiss can resuscitate the drowned Ophelia;
hurried and open-mouthed, moths flutter out of her body.
A kiss that glides smoothly possesses the pleasant lightness of tea.
If it smudges, prepare yourself for children.
A kiss that roams the curving of the lips,
the tongue still tracing the slopes even
without her near is a poet’s muse.
When bitten on the lower lip—I am your peach—
if she’s left there biting, dangling, she’ll burn the tree.
When she’s sucking your lips as if through a straw
she wants you in her.
Never quite touching, sky and earth bridged
by clouds of breath, speak in recitation:
Because I am the ocean in which she cannot swim,
my lover turned into the sea.
Or cradle her in the cushions of your lips,
let her sleep in the pink.
“For today’s challenge, I want you to embrace the idea, theme and technique of Legaspi’s poem and write one of your own. Your poems don’t necessarily have to be mushy and romantic, they can also be solemn and act as a tribute to your loved one.”
Can I hold your paw?
Oh, now I want another one.
Here, let me get those tangles smoothed
even though you hate being brushed.
Don’t move! This will be a perfect photo–
oh, you moved.
One waits for heat, lying beside vent,
other makes snow angels, staring at night sky.
They both curl into balls on sofa.
I feel warm and loved.