Whenever I can I try to kiss them all over
Every inch of their skin I can reach
I want my love to seep into their pores like a salve
To circulate in their bloodstream
And stretch down into their warm bones

I tell them kisses are a medicine I brought with me into this world
I want to embarrass them with my love
I kiss their face in a circle
Counter-clockwise - cheek, forehead, cheek, chin
Then their nose, then their mouth

They tell me maybe I should try kissing myself some time
And I laugh uncomfortably

I lie awake at night alone
And I kiss the back of my hand

And it feels like when my mom used to tell me to apologize, but I didn't feel sorry.

It feels like when my teacher used to make us give a Valentine to everyone, so no one got left out.

But somewhere in my skin something is blushing
Something is whispering
"I hope they really mean it"

And I hope I do too.


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