Susana H. Case

The Kiss

I hope Jeanette recovered
from the wet kiss that boy,
whose name I don’t remember,
bestowed upon her eye

the night before graduation,
sucking it until it swelled,
color of a crushed cherry plum,
the eye-equivalent of a hickey.

I would like to think
she was able to view him clearly
afterward. I mean that
metaphorically as well, that she

realized early there were sacrifices
to love not worth making.
Why she let him do it
is a puzzle from this distance

where the balance sheets of sex
form the thickness of a ledger.
Except that then, we shoved
our eye frames in our purses,

in every meaning of that action,
ingrained in our brains
that boys didn’t make passes
at girls who wore glasses.

Susana H. Case is the author of seven books of poetry. Dead Shark on the N Train is due out in summer, 2020 from Broadstone Books. Drugstore Blue (Five Oaks Press) won an IPPY Award in 2019. She is also the author of five chapbooks, two of which won poetry prizes, and most recently, Body Falling, Sunday Morning, from Milk and Cake Press. Her first collection, The Scottish Café, from Slapering Hol Press, was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka by Opole University Press. Her work has appeared in Calyx, The Cortland Review, Portland Review, Potomac Review, Rattle, RHINO and many other journals. Case is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City

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