Without Lips

The fabric’s stale and hot with breath,
slightly damp and beginning to chafe,
but alluring with its pattern of pink,
full-petalled and sensitive to touch.
The eyes do it, dark depths above
the matching mask. In a moment
of pandemic madness they come
together, flower on flower, blossom
into a kiss without lips, and he slips
his longing into her heated breath.

Kim M. Russell, 6th May 2020

My response to Poets and Storytellers United Weekly Scribblings #18: Art (and turmoil, it seems) Begets Art

Magaly greets us from New York City where, she says, things have been quiet,  ‘except at 7 in the evening, when most New Yorkers follow in the steps of Spain, Italy and the U.K.’ and cheer for the heroes risking the front lines of the pandemic.

Magaly says that some good things have sprouted out of these horrible times, one of which is inspiration to create all sorts of arts, which is why she has invited us to birth new poetry or prose inspired by Pandemic Street Art from around the world. For inspiration, she offers pieces borrowed from Atlas Obscura’.

30 thoughts on “Without Lips

  1. Social distancing did not take place
    as their breath was swapped face
    to floral face.
    Will they live to tell the tale of the kiss
    That should have waited?
    the love that should not
    have been satiated.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Physical distancing is the hardess for persons who have not been in a solitary lifestyle. Staying at home was never a problem for me. It’s easy for me except for the queues, the face masks, the closed church, the uneasyness of having to face the sadness and loss through news reports.

    Great write and thanks for dropping by my blog today Kim


    Liked by 1 person

  3. “The eyes do it, dark depths above the matching mask,”.. love this! You describe both the need to practice social distancing for the greater good and the desire to be together so well! 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ancient wisdom says that our eyes are the windows to our soul. That’s especially true now in this time of masking up. Not much left to see but our eyes!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been discussing this image with a few people (all right, a group of young adults) who find the idea of kissing through masks romantic. Sigh. The thought makes me shutter. So much can be lost. End of mild rant.

    The tone of your poem speaks deep and darkly to me. The surface reads sweet and extra-sensual, but phrases like “dark depths above” and “pandemic madness” and “without lips”, especially the last one add a layer of ominousness that wails of just how dangerous this sort of romance can get.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sheltering at home is not much different for me … except the knowing I can’t meet a friend for lunch or stop by the convenience market to break the tedium becomes wearisome. Fortunately I live with son and wife, so I at least have human contact and conversation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m used to it now, Bev, and I like having the time to read and write, and not worry about having to be somewhere. But I miss the voluntary work at the library and in schools, and wonder when I’ll be able to embrace my daughter and grandson again.


  7. I’m glad you used this picture, Kim. I hadn’t thought much of kissing through masks. I might suggest trying that next time we are masked, which isn’t often as we are pretty well staying locked in. We did venture to the drug store yesterday, it was not crowded at 11 AM. We hadn’t been out for over a month as our daughter and SIL have been shopping for us. Our church opened with keeping social distance in seating, I did not wish to risk it and talked Mrs. Jim also to stay home. It is a large, very large church with six campuses and a Mother’s day message will be given on-line via streaming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you got out, Jim. My husband took me along on a drive to the supermarket last week. I stayed in the car, but it was wonderful to stare out at different scenery and real people!


    1. That is true, Susie. I wonder if a new way of showing love and affection will develop out of the pandemic – not touching elbows or feet, though, that’s too awkward.


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