After Happily Ever After Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Kissing the Frog

At the all night pancake house,
the plastic seats cracked
and the water glasses etched
by thousands of washings, we connect
eagerly, hurried in
from opposite directions,
pale and damp. At home,
we each have someone perfect
we canít trustó
striped shirts, blond wrists.

Hunched over our cups,
we relive mouth-watering days
at the river. Mayflies hovered
on slack eddies, the sun
leached all colors to olive drab.

Should I ask if you still believe
in wet kisses rising to the surface
like catfish?
Should I say Iím the same
hungry princess, prying at the menu
where I wish to find
our story and read it out loud
to discover what
comes after happily ever after?
Is it a picture of me lying
on your chest? Is it a kiss that
can change your face,
or a slithery touch?

Imagine us.
How it would be
to open up our ribs, to gather in
all the small, dark frogs.

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October 2003 2River