To all, a Happy St. Valentine's Day!
This wasn't taken on St. Valentine's Day, but it's one of my favorite photographs (courtesy of Allen Gallery) and captures the spirit, especially since we're still slogging through wintry February!
Since I posted a love poem I wrote a few days ago, here's a poem by one of my favorite poets, who always always knows how to make even the most hackneyed subjects sounds fresh and arresting: Thylias Moss (at left, reading, courtesy of UIUC). (I think this is the second poems of hers I've posted; the last time was last April, during (Inter-)National Poetry Month, when I paired one of her poems* ("Staking Territory") with one by Cuban poet Nancy Morejón. But truly, every month should be Poetry Month, and every day should be St. Valentine's Day!
THE MANDATORY KISS
Sometimes your lover means to swallow you,
your surname disappearing into his history.
He inhales more deeply than you, pulling the air
to the bottom of himself, inflating his shadow.
The rhythm of his breathing is so intense you danse
to it. When you kiss him, you breathe like
It's a simple change of address, your mail and
liabilities rerouted. Like divers with one tank,
you could take turns and both ascend; you'd lose only
the pleasure, would make the kiss mandatory.
I just hope Judas got more than he paid for, the
Savior's skin under his lips, dimpling then springing
back like reciprocation.
Copyright © Thylias Moss, from At Redbones (Cleveland State University Press, 1990).
*I can't ever get the "search" function to work properly with my blog. I type in "Thylias Moss" and it tells me it can't anything. Not even the "Advanced Search" option works. Is it because it's still in Beta format? Is it Firefox? Does anyone have any suggestions? Thankfully my memory isn't completely shot.