ON BEING KISSED — an allegory and a poem

SPRING, 2009

     When I was an infant, I lived in a garden of endless delight.  I slept, I nursed, I was smothered in hugs and kisses and the cooing, grinning stimulation of my mother. The hugs and kisses were (am I “retrapolating” here?) the most delightful of all, but, and I can say this unequivocally, I was unable to distinguish those endorfic explosions from the other ecstasies in which I swam in the seamless nights and days of baby-time.  I was being kissed, but I did not know it.  I experienced my mother, but I did not know her. I could not separate her kisses from her milk or the bottle, or the warmth of my blanket or the serene dreamless sleep that enfolded me like the safety of the womb.

    Then at some point, I don’t know when, does anyone … ? something resolved itself in my little brain and the real identifiable reality of my mother gelled clear and sharp like binoculars coming into focus.  Her self became clearly distinguished from her nipples, the bottles, the blankets, the clean diaper, the bright lights, the stimulating sounds and the delicious, rapturous embrace of sleep. 

     At that moment I knew that I wasn’t only in paradise … I was being kissed. 


since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;


wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom


One comment on “ON BEING KISSED — an allegory and a poem

  1. Dorothy says:

    I love the poem…it’s an old favorite.
    And agree that kissing is the better,for it is communion with the other or desired communion if the other happens to be asleep.

    We are at this very moment being kissed by the “unknown”….at least I know I am.

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