Tony Hoagland


Poems by Tony Hoagland

Physiology of Kisses

Mistaken Identity

Parade



 

Tony Hoagland



Physiology of Kisses

 

The kiss begins                         in the center of the belly
and travels upwards               through the diaphragm and throatalong fine filaments                    which no forensic scientist
has ever been able to find.

From the hard flower                of the kisser’s mouth,
the kisses leave the body              in single file,
into the reciprocal mouth           of the kiss-recipient,
which for me is Kath.

What can I say? My kisses make her happy and I need that.
And sometimes, bending over her,
I have the unmistakable impression
                              that I am watering a plant.

gripping myself softly              by the handle,
tilting my spout                             forward
pouring what I need to give
                        into the changing shape of her thirst.

I keep leaning forward                 to pour out
what continues to rise up
from the fountain                       of the kisses
which I, also,                         am drinking from.

 

 

 

From SWEET RUIN (University of Wisconsin Press, 1993)