A Kiss in My Palm
by Gayle Reaves-King

When I was a girl, I could do it
just with a kiss
didn’t know what it was
where I went,
formula of chemical transformation.
Must be how it feels when osmosis is complete,
last bit of moon eaten by the ocean,
water into cabernet when it hits the back of your throat —
jug and loaf make that wilderness, oh yes.

Explains why freeze-dried tastes so good, eaten sitting on a boulder,
why I still remember light speckling down through leaves
onto freckled skin, why it was so hard
to remember where you stopped and I began
(and therefore why I forgot to introduce you at parties —
would you introduce someone to your left arm?)
Why people still feel a limb when it’s gone
why phantom pain is so real.

Why we rattle around in this world,
random parts tossed in a shoebox
with our broken bits and bent prongs,
why the chatter of people in this café seems so loud,
and concrete of the parking lot outside too hard.
What is covered?
What is kept from us,
unsuspected for our whole lives?

Why the western sky seems so vast
when you stand on the lip of the canyon.
It is above you and below you,
and you want to give yourself to it.
Bones hollow like a bird’s,
filled with breath.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

Copyright © by Dallas Poets Community. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.