Anticipation is the space between our lips before we kiss—there is nothing more seductive, arousing, exciting—that moment of before, not-quite, waiting… anticipating… Anticipating, say it again, listen—the word’s rhythm is a promise of everything—everything is possible—and yet… until the moment when that space is closed… nothing is risked.
This is the moment before. The moment before what could be the perfect kiss—do you feel it? I do; the anticipation swells in me, blood hot, water in a blocked pipe, throbbing, pulsing… anything and everything is possible (nothing is risked)—and this is the sweetest moment, the only time that perfection is possible.
Keep me here. A little longer. Yes. Hot breath. Electrons swapping but flesh not touching. Let me imagine—are you imagining too?—let me imagine what that kiss might feel like, what it might lead to.
Let me swell just a little more…
But now… kiss.
No, no, no.
Don’t you see? You can’t stay here. I know—I know it’s hot, I know it’s exciting. And I know… it’s safe. Anticipation. Everything possible. Nothing risked.
And you… what you are shivering with now, right now, it is not excitement. It is fear. Fear of disappointment.
Now is the time to cross the chasm between our lips and douse anticipation.
The kiss will not be perfect.
Perhaps our teeth will gnash—and not in the heat of brutal, primal desire but in the awkward fumblings of untutored lust.
Perhaps you will miss my lips and land instead on… a bruised cheek. Worse, a pimple.
Perhaps you will nip too hard. Or not hard enough. I will be too cautious, timid–or too eager, too rough. Perhaps… your tongue will be too short, and when you feel mine, you will wonder—what the fuck is she? Half-lizard?
The kiss will not be perfect; neither of us is Snow White or Sleeping Beauty—and in any event, all fairy tales lie, don’t you know that?
The kiss will not be perfect. The earth will not shake. When I part your lips with mine—I will chew on the lower first, by the way, lover, and then the upper, and I will evade your tongue to prolong the anticipation—but when I part your lips with mine, you will not see God.
(But perhaps, that will happen later, when my lips… but let’s leave that anticipation for later.)
The kiss will not be perfect. If you are waiting for perfection, then yes, disappointment will come.
And you will regret—you will wish—you will want to run back to anticipation.
I forgot. You are still there.
So close to my lips but unwilling-unable to cross the chasm.
Anticipation is glorious.
Disappointment is inevitable.
And in the open lips I give to you, find hope.
The first kiss… it will not be perfect.
The second kiss… mmmm, better.
The third… see, we are learning, the ebb and flow—no, the earth did not move, not yet, but I felt the promise of a rumble, did you?
(I am now anticipating a rumble. Oh-God. Yes. Like that…)
The fourth… the fifth… the sixth… I am losing count, and you?
Fuck. Yes. Like this—no—not there—now—and…
Just like that.
Anticipation. Disappointment. Hope.
For Nicole: Cardamom Knob Wool
For Jenn: Piano River Feather
For Lara: Peasant Cicada Pomegranate
For Paola: Stoked Sunrise Ferocity
For Nina: Crimson Brilliant Moon
For Cathy: Elated Chocolate Tears
For Lisa: Collar Forgiveness Wind
For Leslie: Train Clouds Mountain