Autobiography of Kisses, by Joe Cottonwood

Autobiography of Kisses
by Joe Cottonwood

High school kids in the Chevy wagon
(lips of warm bread)
how innocent we were (tongue of butter)
just kissing.

You unmasked the secret poet,
the scientific fuck-up. I discovered
in your eyes deep libraries,
your flesh oiled calfskin, your furrowed brow
the ink of knowledge when I had no idea
who I was or what I wanted
except kissing
(pure as rainfall).

With dark wisdom you whispered
You are a writer, nothing else.
You should do what you love
—besides kissing
(taste of pollen, of nectar).

From your eyes, your voice
rock solid belief
and a nibble of teeth
(scent of moss)
(touch of soft mushroom).

So much, just that. Belief.
And kissing (fresh, a touch, sprouts
in fertile earth).

Joe Cottonwood is a semi-retired contractor with a lifetime of repairing homes by day, writing by night. He lives under (and at the mercy of) redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. His most recent book is Foggy Dog: Poems of the Pacific Coast.

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