In front of me a woman walks a man
with that leash of a look before goodbye,
stalled by a delay with someone’s straw bag,
by the thought of how long it might be, by
the taste in their mouths. They lean and breathe
each other’s breath, reaching
for the most succulent leaves’ highest branch.
I gaze and inhale, stealing a kiss they won’t
miss among so many, tumbling now
inside my lungs, feeling love in my legs. Where
was my last kiss given and how long ago?
He enters me now without kissing me. I’m a purse
for his money. But their kiss hugs my tongue.
I clamp my mouth to keep it
inside, having lost the memory of kiss,
the way we forget the unforgettable
voice of a person who has died. Inside,
a fever rises. But the guard gestures me aside.
She opens my bag, massages the contents
and, finding nothing, waves me on. All that training,
but who would think to check the mouth.