Kiss of Life

Lips to cheek, the young father

sits wetting the baby’s face

with his love. He leans into his

who sits on the man’s lap and smiles.

His nose grazes her chin.

He dazzles her with his grin.

She burbles in enthusiasm.

He hangs his lip on her nose.

He kisses her and says hello, hello.

Daddy’s . Mommy’s, too. She leans

over for a quick lick to establish contact.

They shoot me a glance and are proud.

They bring cheer to my scowl.

Baby time. Even Arabs believe in Father Christmas.

A father’s love is not religious. We plant

kisses like Johnny Appleseed.

We collect them like pollen.

Kisses make fathers bees.

The constant kiss, the planted lips.

The extended lip, the smooch:

lips rub lips and with that everything

is explained. This father’s lips remain

extended like a eating lice.

But here father is not ingesting, he is feeding,

dispensing medicine to  his daughter

to ensure her happiness; magic, to increase her sense of well-being.

It is a long flight. Father never once withdraws.

They stay together, connected, and will remain so,


David Lohrey’s poetry can be found in Poetry Circle, Sudden Denouement, Otoliths, Anti-Heroin Chic, and FRiGG. Recent poems have been published by the University of Alabama (Dewpoint), Illinois State University (Obsidian ) and Michigan State University (The Offbeat). His book The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th century literature, appeared in 2016. David’s first poetry collection, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was published this month . He lives in Tokyo.