IMAGINE A KISS
First published in ?
Imagine a kiss,
he says, voice thick impeded
by an oxygen mask. You think
of a lifetime’s kisses, warm
wet baby kisses, inexpert skidding-
across-the-mouth teenage kisses,
of those more ardent
more experienced the man-to-woman
exploring sort. You remember
husband-to-wife Good-night, sleep-well
kisses, knowing tomorrow would come,
until the day tomorrow failed
and a run-of-the-mill kiss morphed into the last,
a dead man’s kiss.
"Such a compelling poem with its moving evocation at the scene of a husband’s death bed. The poem journeys through a lifetime of kisses, exploring through various time-lenses and within a framework marking the brief moments of that passing, ‘Imagine a kiss’, he says, voice thick/impeded/by an oxygen mask’ and ‘morphed into the last/a dead man’s/kiss’. The consequent bi-focal time-dissonance is emphasised via the lay-out, its long and short lines. A pitch-perfect poem."
Julie Sampson, Poetry Space Spring Showcase, March 2019