Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Surreptitious Kissing

I want to say that
forgiveness keeps on

dividing, that hope
gives issue to hope,

and more, but of course I
am saying what is

said when in this dark
hallway one encounters

you, and paws and
assaults you—love

affairs, fast lies—and you
say it back and we

blunder deeper, as would
any pair of loosed

marionettes, any couple
of cadavers cut lately

from the scaffold,
in the secluded hallways

of whatever is
holding us up now.

Credit


From The Incognito Lounge and Other Poems, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Copyright © 1994 by Denis Johnson. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Author


Denis Johnson

Born in Munich, Germany, in 1949, Denis Johnson is the author of many works of poetry and prose, including The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly: Poems Collected and New (Harper Perennial, 1995).

Date Published: 1994-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/surreptitious-kissing