One City Haibun Arisen From a Kiss

A kiss is never to be taken lightly — so write it in everything.

We can write literally and we can write with other material in mind. It’s no longer late, and I’m no longer moving. Moving makes the world slide by, smears it colourless, and what we do not see we do not taste. How we perceive the world comes through our eyes, but how we love it passes over our lips: I tell you secrets when I whisper them; we need no words when my lips touch yours.

I’m no longer moving and I see the world’s slightest movements. I tell it secrets when I watch it, and then I need no words.

It is as if I’ve pressed my fingertips to my lips when I finally write: there is a trace of the world on my skin, slightly salted.

It is not desire or any other base I write, when I finally write: it is the warmth of the kiss that being still and seeing is . . .

On the tube train, not thinking, just drinking coffee. A girl gets on. She’s maybe twenty. She’s an individual: dyed blonde-red hair; carefully chosen clothes for impact; black star make-up on her upper cheek. She has her head down at a screen. She has her earphones in. I think she must be pretty underneath all this attention-to-detail-look-at-me. She looks up. She has pretty brown eyes and a clear face.

I leave the tube train: stand on the platform to put my bag on my back, my coffee on the floor. I see the train go out till it disappears around the curve of the track.

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