Jean A. Kingsley

After the Kiss

On the sill, crimson-clear wine

displayed in a diamanté glass jar,

fragrant smell of velvet,

lambent feel of skin.

Who cares what happens next.

Let her luxuriate in her distress

as evening comes whistling

and moonlight modestly slants

to earth.

“Are you asleep?”

“I'd like to die like this,” she says.

Farewell to the blue stare of dragonfly,

farewell to the footsteps of wind,

farewell to the ruined garden

of the human heart.

Jean A. Kingsley earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, and lives in Rochester, New York. She is the recipient of the 1995 Academy of American Poets Prize, a finalist for “Discovery”/The Nation and The Constance Saltonstall Foundation of the Arts Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in numerous national literary journals and she won a poetry book award for Traceries from ABZ Press in 2014, selected by C. D. Wright, and a finalist for the Charlotte Mew Chapbook Award for Low-water’s Edge published by Headmistress Press in 2020.