The middle of a kiss, and though he opened
up wide and wider, her own small jawbones gave
a little crack and stuck, and look what happened:
as if she’d fallen in an open grave,
he swallowed her at last, and then she wandered
in a dark saturated country where
the red land throbbed with capillaries under
electric stars. A kiss had brought her there,
a simple kiss that rained and filled her head
with blood, a nightmare kiss, a wrong man kiss;
why had she kissed a man with such a mouth,
with such thick teeth and jaws, such tongue, instead
of kissing someone who would let her out,
kissing someone nicer, who ate less.

From Sad Jazz: Sonnets (Sheep Meadow Press, 2005) by Tony Barnstone. Copyright © 2005 by Tony Barnstone. Used with the permission of the author.