Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 9 • Spring 2004 • Poetry

A Kiss

Juliana Pegues

for Coya

Late night embrace
Proximity measured in fractions of breath
And I have a notion
To steal a kiss
But you are not a bank
And I am not a thief

We lay arm in arm
Brown skin entwined like a basket woven,
Or the warp and weft of a coveted loom

Our friendship already decided
A boundary already mapped
And this a story book ending
To a night flying high on fantastic wishes

To kiss
Scramble molecules
Bust bricks
Jump the turnstile
Flaunt the rules

A kiss
To break barriers
A light speed chased, and caught

To be a selfish lover
Swallowing each burst of air
As it escapes from your lips

To be a jealous lover,
Maddening at the thought
Of your mouth without mine

An impatient lover,
Craving your touch
Before I am there

A desperate lover,
Climbing to your very insides
Within a kiss, a kiss, a kiss

But I am not a lover, not your lover
No claim to clutch twist or folly on
These needs for a kiss

And know, now, this moment
When I envision history and prehistory
In each minute mile of time between
Your mouth just inches away from mine
A salty expanse of charged air
Like sparks, like fireflies, like ocean spray
A gravity of force
That must be broken, severed, pulled away
Because in another moment
What will happen cannot be undone and
Tomorrow and the tomorrows after that,
When we are not laying in the sweet night
In the in-between,
Indigo dark and candlelight symphony
When we come down off this high
And stark daylight stares us
Directly in the face to say
This transgression, this betrayal
Of our own undoing
Will ring hollow
On the selfishness of this moment
To risk friendship for your magnetic pull
A momentary rightness
Called to a future wrong

I sigh. Let go
And small translucent fibers
A ship breaking mooring
A cobweb dangling tendrils
My body slinging out of your orbit,
And our entwined basket,
Our fabric, cleaving

A dream recollected
Tomorrow, tomorrow
An inkling, an idea

A kiss. A kiss. This kiss.

Born in Taiwan and raised in Alaska, Juliana Pegues is a Minneapolis-based writer, performer, and activist. She is a member of both the women of color theater group Mama Mosaic; and Mango Tribe, a national Asian Pacific Islander American women's performance collective. She loves all manner of revolutionary acts and queer kisses, and detests imperialist wars and occupation.

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