I could not kiss you lightly
Brush cheek with cheek and vanish
Hummingbird swift to another blossom.
Deeper nectars demand the patience of desire
I could not kiss you softly.
Sweetness comes to summer fruit
bruised by tongue and lip and tooth.
Fierce kisses delight as they devour.
I could not kiss you quickly.
Aeons might pass in a stolen breath;
Empires rise and fall upon your lips,
Two lifetimes, evanescent as a touch.
I could not kiss you as I might
So I will touch your hand
When we meet and smile,
And I shall not kiss at all.