The Kiss

Stephen Dunn

 
She pressed her lips to mind.
—a typo
How many years I must have yearned
for someone’s lips against mind.
Pheromones, newly born, were floating
between us. There was hardly any air.
She kissed me again, reaching that place
that sends messages to toes and fingertips,
then all the way to something like home.
Some music was playing on its own.
Nothing like a woman who knows
to kiss the right thing at the right time,
then kisses the things she’s missed.
How had I ever settled for less?
I was thinking this is intelligence,
this is the wisest tongue
since the Oracle got into a Greek’s ear,
speaking sense. It’s the Good,
defining itself. I was out of my mind.
She was in. We married as soon as we could.
 
"The Kiss," from Everything Else in the World by Stephen Dunn. Copyright © 2007 by Stephen Dunn. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Poems by This Author

Charlotte Brontë in Leeds Point by Stephen Dunn
From her window marshland stretched for miles.
Here and Now by Stephen Dunn
There are words
Mrs. Cavendish and the Dancer by Stephen Dunn
Mrs. Cavendish desired the man in the fedora
The Routine Things Around the House by Stephen Dunn
When Mother died
What Goes On by Stephen Dunn
After the affair and the moving out


Further Reading

Contemporary Love Poems
A Tyrant Seeks Conclusion in the Known Self
by Emily Kendal Frey
corydon & alexis, redux
by D. A. Powell
Credo
by Matthew Rohrer
Epithalamium
by Matthew Rohrer
Fons
by Pura López-Colomé
Footprint on Your Heart
by Gary Lenhart
Happy first anniversary (in anticipation of your thirty ninth)
by Bob Hicok
Hey You
by Adrian Blevins
Holding Pattern
by Timothy Liu
Hotel Berlin
by Cynthia Cruz
I Want the Certainty of Love in Another Language
by Christie Ann Reynolds
If You Must Hide Yourself From Love
by Christopher Salerno
It Was Raining In Delft
by Peter Gizzi
Long Distance II
by Tony Harrison
Love Poem
by Graham Foust
Marriage: A Daybook
by Nicole Cooley
My Heart
by Kim Addonizio
Rime Riche
by Monica Ferrell
San Antonio
by Naomi Shihab Nye
syntax
by Maureen N. McLane
The Ear is an Organ Made for Love
by E. Ethelbert Miller
The Ecstasy
by Phillip Lopate
The Embrace
by Mark Doty
The Emperor
by Matthew Rohrer
The Long Deployment
by Jehanne Dubrow
The Love-Hat Relationship
by Aaron Belz
The Meaning of Zero: A Love Poem
by Amy Uyematsu
To Dorothy
by Marvin Bell
When a Woman Loves a Man
by David Lehman
When Someone Says I Love You the Whole
by Karyna McGlynn
Poems About Love
Monna Innominata [I loved you first]
by Christina Rossetti
Monna Innominata [I wish I could remember]
by Christina Rossetti
A Birthday
by Christina Rossetti
A Line-storm Song
by Robert Frost
A Negro Love Song
by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Darling, You Are the World's Fresh Ornament
by Laura Cronk
Fons
by Pura López-Colomé
In a Boat
by D. H. Lawrence
Let Us Live and Love (5)
by Gaius Valerius Catullus
Love
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Love
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Love in a Life
by Robert Browning
Love's Philosophy
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Lovers' Infiniteness
by John Donne
Manners
by Michael Blumenthal
Meeting at Night
by Robert Browning
My love is as a fever, longing still
by Christopher Bursk
No, Love Is Not Dead
by Robert Desnos
San Antonio
by Naomi Shihab Nye
She Walks in Beauty
by George Gordon Byron
Slow Waltz Through Inflatable Landscape
by Christian Hawkey
The Buried Life
by Matthew Arnold
The Definition of Love
by Andrew Marvell
The Ecstasy
by Phillip Lopate
The Face of All the World (Sonnet 7)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The Forms of Love
by George Oppen
The Look
by Sara Teasdale
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
by Edward Lear
The Passionate Freudian to His Love
by Dorothy Parker
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
by Christopher Marlowe
The White Rose
by John Boyle O'Reilly
To Anthea Who May Command Him Any Thing
by Robert Herrick
When I Heard at the Close of Day
by Walt Whitman
Wooing Song
by Giles Fletcher
Poems About Weddings
Endymion, Book I, [A thing of beauty is a joy for ever]
by John Keats
Epithalamium, [Happy Bridegroom]
by Sappho
In Memoriam, Epilogue, [O true and tried, so well and long]
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
A Ditty
by Sir Philip Sidney
A Slice of Wedding Cake
by Robert Graves
A Wedding Toast
by Richard Wilbur
Chateau If
by Peter Gizzi
Epithalamion
by Edmund Spenser
Epithalamium
by Matthew Rohrer
Let me not to the marriage of true minds (Sonnet 116)
by William Shakespeare
Magnolia
by Gerald Stern
Marriage
by William Carlos Williams
Marriage: A Daybook
by Nicole Cooley
Plural Happiness
by David Rivard
Sonnet 8 [Set me where as the sun doth parch the green]
by Petrarch
Tear It Down
by Jack Gilbert
The First Marriage
by Peter Meinke
The maidens came
by Anonymous
To My Dear and Loving Husband
by Anne Bradstreet
To Sylvia, To Wed
by Robert Herrick
Wedding Poems
When a Woman Loves a Man
by David Lehman