Post image for Poem- Hope

Poem- Hope

by Crystal Torres on April 9, 2016

I hope I get to kiss you, someday
just once
and I hope it’s terrible
I hope our lips get pinched
against our teeth
clanking together
as our heads angle all wrong
I hope we don’t know what to do with our hands
and end up just standing there
pressing our mouths
awkwardly into each other’s
I hope we never find a rhythm
where we can both breathe
I hope that it is the worst kiss
in the history of kisses
that have ever kept a girl awake
filled with longing
for something she shouldn’t
Quell my curiosity
kill my desire
Kiss me
just once
and no more
I hope
Something about my birthday always makes me want to be kissed. For a grown woman, I obsess about kisses like a teeny bopper puckering at movie stars in a magazine. I want to be loved. I want to be desired. I want to be kissed!

Then I remember, no, I really don’t. I want to be in shape, out of debt, better at my job, better at parenting. I want a home. On shooting stars, dandelions and eyelashes, I wish for home. Except for sometimes, when they catch me by surprise and I foolishly wish for love. I don’t have time, or inclination, for diving into someone else’s heart and I’m no good at merely testing the water.

So I write poems like this to tell myself that it’s not all that. Not that the poems really help. I had my heart broken by the guy who gave me the worst first kiss I’ve ever known. It was terrible, the kiss that is.

We’d known each other for decades and had very slowly become friends. We had a weekend together. A weekend that I’d planned on maybe, on possibility. By the time I arrived at the train station we already knew our limits. We were going to be friends, like we’d been before our weekend, but first we were going to have our weekend. It seemed sketchy to me, pointless.

I arrived with my hair in tight braids, pinned atop my head. I knew he loved my wild curls and I refused to give him the satisfaction of getting tangled up in me so easily. He wanted to carry my bags, to be a gentleman. I had everything in my backpack, strapped and latched and balanced just so. It was more work than it was worth to take it off just so someone else could carry it.

He led me from the train station to the creek, took my picture, when I wasn’t feeling pretty. Not that I’ve ever been comfortable in front of the camera, but I was particularly not, after hours of public transit for a weekend that no longer made sense to me. The line he fed me sounded composed, edited, practiced from before the script had changed. He gave me some logic about breaking a tension, but everything had gone slack, and then he kissed me. It was… awkward. At best.

The mechanics were okay, I mean we both had a reasonable sense of how lips and such work. It wasn’t the how that was a problem. It was a complete lack of why. We were spending a weekend together because we were each too stubborn not to. There had been a great flirtation, and a scheme to consummate it, and then a change of circumstances, a change of heart, but not a change of plans. Our first kiss felt like fulfilling an obligation. We both hated it.

Somewhere between the creek and lunch we agreed. Sometimes, there isn’t any chemistry. You can like a person plenty, like the look of them, the things they say, but there just isn’t any spark. So it was with us. We were good at being friends, that was all. So we sat down to lunch as friends. The pressure was off.

We talked about our passions and plans for the future, shared nostalgia for the places and people we had known and been, we confided in each other about the insecurities and heartbreaks of parenthood and failed marriages. We were sincere and vulnerable and we made each other laugh. Somewhere between lunch and his apartment the spark had come back. We made my bed on his couch, but couldn’t bring ourselves to say goodnight.

We kissed again. Fireworks.

I guess the point is, I want to be kissed. I rationalize that it’s okay if it’s just a kiss. As if there has ever been a safe kiss that didn’t change anything. I know better. I trace cherished kisses along my lips, savoring memories, but not wanting to go back. I have to keep it simple. So I think forward, hoping for kisses so terrible that I never want to be kissed again, even though I know, there’s no such thing. Even a bad first kiss can get me into heaps of trouble. Best to stick to hobbies like knitting, and poetry, I guess. There’s always poetry.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: