A Kiss At Last by G.L. Morrison
“You know what’s terrible?” she said. “Most people never know the last time they’re going to kiss someone. They don’t know that’s it. That it’ll never happen again. You eat the last Oreo in the box and you think damn I’m going to be sorry when I’m out of Oreos but the last kiss just slides by unnoticed.”
He looked at his watch. It was later than he thought.
“You can always get more Oreos,” he told her.
“You know what I mean.”
“I can’t think of anything more terrible.”
I can, he thought but said: “Maybe they’re not worth remembering.”
“Last kisses. When you’re that close to the end and you’ve stopped loving someone, maybe the kisses aren’t worth remembering. Not unnoticed. Not forgotten. Just the kisses aren’t any good or at that point they’re not happening at all.”
“Does anyone ever really stop loving someone?”
“I don’t know. Yes. Yes, they must. They stop kissing them. They stop caring.”
“That’s not the same thing.”
His silence disagreed. She listened to it, his thick and disapproving silence. Inert. Not one word more, the silence begged. It screamed: don’t say it; don’t go there.
“I think it’s better to know,” she said.
“It’s better to finish with a feast of kisses than to slowly starve or lose your appetite for them.”
He looked at his shoes. In the fading light, he couldn’t see the seam of the shoe or where his heel ended and the street began. Unless he moved his foot, the shoe and the cement beneath seemed to be one thing. He didn’t move his foot. He thought of running, his feet ripping out of the shadow, fleeing here and whatever terrible thing she might say next. But he didn’t move.
“Tell me what you think it would be like,” she demanded. “The last kiss. Knowing there won’t be another.”
He looked up from his shoes to face her. “I think it would be sad.”
“But beautiful,” she said.
How can a moment be so ridiculous and serious at the same time? That summed him up. And her. And whatever “they” had been.
“Make me sad,” she said.
His eyes were wholly on her lips now. She watched his face, where his glance fell; analyzing the half smile. Was that a yes? He stroked her bottom lip with his thumb. Sad and thoughtful.
“That’s not original is it?”
“Probably.” She kissed his thumb. “Does that make it less true?”
“What you said. Make me sad. You heard it in a movie or a book.”
G.L. Morrison is a woman of slashes/parentheses/etcs. Writer/poet/activist. Morrison has received awards/published in both the mainstream and the margins. Popping up in print since 1984 in magazines (The Advocate, Lambda Book Review, Mother Jones, Sinister Wisdom, Alternet, Sexis) and anthologies (Best of Best Women’s Erotica, Mom, Ghost Town Poetry). Her most recent poetry collection is Chiaroscuro Kisses (Headmistress Press). Morrison kisses and tells.