The Anatomy of a Kiss


I promise you sometimes kisses

aren’t the electric-toe curling trysts

of mouths movies or books will have

you believe, sometimes they are minty-

coffee flavoured punctuation marks

between laboured breaths that describe

the mundanity of his day, sometimes they

are unspoken good nights and good byes

and I-love-you’s for days him and I don’t

have the courage to say those words. There

are times when our kisses don’t feel like

kisses, on those days we cherish them most.

And I wish I could explain the anatomy of a

kiss, peel it apart layer after layer and tell

you what even the smallest particles did

when our lips met, but I simply can not.

Sure, it is just the simple touching of our

lips but it isn’t limited to pink intimacy, it

isn’t just bacteria and saliva and urgency

and grabbing hair and the need to

hopefully melt yourself into your partner,

that maybe if you kissed hard enough,

you’d become a single body. It is more than

that, it’s the reminder of that one song you

kept listening to when you were fifteen,

when you hadn’t even known the person

who sat right next to you, but for reasons

unstated this song pops into your head the

moment your lips touch their’s and so does

every heartbreak, every drop of rain you

felt on your scalp when you scraped your

knee when you were ten, and the fragrance

of those ripe mangoes that engulfed your

childhood home. A reminder of who you

were before them, a glimpse into

who you might be after.

I wish I could

explain the anatomy of a kiss, at least then

I’d write this poem better.

By Harleen Osahan

About Harleen: 
Harleen Osahan is an 18 year old writer in the Middle East, she enjoys political literature and endless Radiohead music marathons. 


Artwork – Erwin Rudolf Weiss, The Kiss, 1898

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