With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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One thing no one ever informs you of when you get ready to kiss a girl
For the first time is where to put your nose: do you lay it alongside
Hers, like a skipper eases his ship along a dock, or do you take turns,
Alternating left and right? You laugh, but this is a pressing question,
As you well remember yourself. And your hands — do they . . . quest?
Or do they alight on her shoulders like birds, like leaves? The glasses
On each of your noses — is it sweet when they clink, or is that dorkish?
Should you take them off just before you kiss, or is that too confident
That you will be kissing? And most of all the breathing. This is a real
Problem. Do you hold your breath? Do you aim for staggered breaths
Like in the pool? And who is in charge? If your partner wants to retire,
What are the accepted signal flags for such a decision? Can I appeal?
I hear you laughing, but you were in the same boat. We were shaking.
We so wanted to do this well and so wanted not to be seen to want to.
In a sense it was practice for so very many things that we would want
But would not know how to get, or know what to do with after we got
Them. You know full well what I mean. Nothing was as gently sweet,
Nothing so roaringly nerve-racking; how could both things be true at
Once? How could that be? Yet it was so, and would be hourly more so.