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