The Elements of Kissing

A great kiss is an elemental spell.

The earth, of course. The body and touch. The feel of my lips, his, but not just lips also, tongues, teeth and, it turns out, the tip of my nose. The left tip, to be exact, because this kissing is so endless in variety and pleasure that we don't stop, and there is something about the way I hold my head that results in the left tip of my nose rubbing, over and over, against his rough stubbled cheek. I can feel it happening, but I won't pay attention to my nose. I ignore it. I pay attention to our mouths, his back under my hands, my waist under his.

(We kissed so much that in the morning I woke up with a scab, a bloody scrape on my nose. Earth to water.)

Water, then. It's not just the obvious, my mouth to his, the joining of the interior of our bodies, that precursor of what may be yet to come. There is taste here, which is or is not magic. Here, it is. And I know there have been times when I have kissed without love, when the pure friction and scent of lust had me gasping and crazed. I am not that teenager anymore, or even that woman. I have lost my taste for a kiss without heart. (I taste his heart.) We are in my kitchen, I am leaning against the counter, he is all around me and I can feel him, not just with my body but with the primal sea inside me, old parts, that care nothing for why or why not, but want only the joining, not with anyone, with him, who is just now all I can taste, feel, see. He surrounds me, fills me. Water. 

I am warmer now. I know the fire will come, but first, air… we breathe together. I whisper his name across our joined lips; this is life in our mouths. All around, the night persists. There are lights across the water, my old refrigerator hums. I can feel his breath merging with mine. (I am breathing through my nose, which tingles for some reason, why is my nose tingling? Well, never mind…) This is the beginning that is in every inhale. This is the exchange in every breath: my promise to take in, his to thrust, mine to wrap, his to invade, his to receive, mine to find, all in the slipstream of breath, of word, promise, of consent. Air.

And finally, yes now, the fire. It comes in a moment, a sudden spark under my sternum that warms my chest and fills me. It comes when I place the focus of my will, my hunger – fire is will and hunger – here, on the kiss. But only if I balance the hunger with listening. Fire comes when I pay attention. When, somehow, in the midst of the pleasure and merging and breath, I remember to notice this man, this love, right now. I am listening to all of him with all of me, to only the next fraction of now. I reduce the whole of myself to the listening and wanting of this tip of my tongue, this lip slowly sliding across mine. I am achingly aware of only this. Hunger. Will. I reach toward him, I receive him and the spark arcs across our bodies and lights my rib cage like a paper lantern rising.

A great kiss is an elemental spell.