I have not been touching other people’s mouths,
but I admit to carrying them
in my pockets
and I can feel them moving.
I’ve always wanted passion,
wanted to be eaten
the way ants leave clean a pile of bones,
or like the way the poor Zen monk
devoured his lover
and was compelled to keep eating.
I understand how he had no choice,
how it’s the perception of loss
that makes passion possible.
How quickly, though, he found out
about irreparable damage,
the communion of that body
feeding itself, keeping the hunger going.
This is how I’ll
squander my time:
thinking about what I can’t have,
not in this lifetime, not in the next,
keeping that taste in my mouth.