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POEM: the short kiss goodnight

the short kiss goodnight

“all I can say for sure
is that if you call yourself
a Buddhist you aren’t one”
she said / so I kissed her
beneath the kanji and kana
she kissed me back
but not really
not in the way that means
going home after breakfast
with your feet two inches
above the sidewalk
not in the way that causes
you to sing the next day
while doing the dishes
until a friend says
somebody’s in a good mood”
with her, though
it wasn’t in the lips
it was in the arms
a long embrace that said
things might have been different
if I hadn’t had to go away
I held her until
it should have seemed strange
she didn’t let go
so I floated above
the sidewalk anyway
as I walked home in the dark

11 June 2012
Richmond VA

Published in My poems Poetry


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