So, You’re Thinking About the Last Time You Kissed Someone

And if it hadn’t been for that one commercial, you probably would’ve forgotten it.

The words “Heart Breaker” are painted in white on a jean jacket or jean pants.
Photo by Michelle Cella via Redshot

Have you seen the “First Kiss” Hershey’s Kisses commercial? You know the one with “Eric” mentioning all the positive aspects about the kiss while “Lisa” shares the negative aspects about it? Yeah, that one. The first time I saw that commercial I thought to myself, “What is this business? I hope they’re not an actual couple.” But then I thought, “Hmm, when was my last kiss?”

I mention my last kiss because I clearly remember my first one. I was thirteen, in my last year of junior high, and gearing myself up for high school in just a few months. My boyfriend was a tall, heavy, beautiful black young man, who was originally from Florida and played football for our school.

He would go on to be scouted for a high school other than the one I was expected to attend and make quite the name for himself.


We dated for three years. He got a head-start on cheating on young women well before his late teens and our breakup was disastrous. His mother adored me and I loved her. I hated that her son and I ended the way we did. But we grew to respect each other enough to be cordial as we got older.

He even asked me out again, which was quickly shut down before he could mumble any other words. I had my fill, and I wanted no more of him.

But our first kiss, although hurried and done in a sneaky way, was also extremely memorable. His lips were full and had just the right amount of moisture. There wasn’t a lot of tongue — just enough to be coaxed into a soft lulling — eyes temporarily closed, heart racing.

We pulled away from each other and smiled. Then we held hands. We were official.

I am certain that for as long as I live, I will remember that kiss. It taught me many things about love and lust and being lost all at the same time.

Have you thought about the last time you kissed someone? If you did, where did it lead you? Hopefully, you didn’t scramble down the rabbit hole as I did.


My last kiss . . . When had it occurred and with whom was it? This was my struggle topic. But the more I saw that commercial, the more my memory bank deposited blips of its happening into my view. I believe I blocked it out because he is married now — happily married.

For some odd reason, I have it in my spirit that I am not supposed to think about things that brought me joy if the person with whom that joy had been shared is married to someone else.

Is it wrong? Does it mean I lack respect for what he has gained? Am I allowed to reminisce and not fall for those memories once again? Can I?

One thing I loved most about our relationship was kissing and his hugs. He gave “come-to-me-bear-hugs” and I would lose myself in his embrace. He would also do the forehead kiss, then lift my face to his — my lips to his, and I would melt for him.

We didn’t last. We couldn’t last. But we remain friends.

When he sent me the invite to his wedding (to view it online, because, you know, a global pandemic), I was excited. I pondered about what to get the soon-to-be-married couple. I decided on matching aprons, a book about lasting love, and his and her “married to” bracelets. I beamed looking at the photo of the two of them and nodded my approval.

He deserved this — to be happy — to find his match. I tell anyone willing to listen that we had a great thing. It just wasn’t the right thing. Our schedules never meshed. He worked odd hours, and I had a job that required a lot of me and my time.

It was only fitting for him to reconnect with someone from his high school days, fall in love with her once again, propose, and the rest is history. His being happy makes me happy.

But his was the last kiss I had — the last real kiss. My ex after him never drummed up enough sensual intensity within me to move us from dating to intimacy. I just couldn’t connect with him in that way, and eventually, we called it quits. It was well overdue.


But that commercial . . . That damn commercial. If they did not produce it, would I still have that last kiss memory buried deep inside my mind? And now that it has returned, what am I to do with it?

I think one day soon, I will hoist it back to the lone corners of my mind only to be conjured up once again when “the last kiss” is up for discussion.

It has a home. Maybe it will end up there again for safekeeping.


Originally published in Age of Empathy via Medium.

Going Nowhere

Silver and Black Digital Alarm Clock on Table
Photo by Burst via Pexels

Time doesn’t stand still for me. I beg it sometimes. My plea goes unheard. A faint whisper greets my ear, “What are you so afraid of”? I respond, “Now? Everything.”

Time cocks its head back & laughs. It gathers data on me and maintains its surveillance.

I’m free to go nowhere.


Originally shared via Twitter.

We Were Like That Lenny Kravitz Song Until We Were Finally Over

Rhythmic Prose

Photo by Jakayla Toney via Unsplash

Sometimes, I miss it. Sometimes, I don’t. You know . . . Us. It doesn’t hit me as hard as it used to when I was crawling through my twenties or attempting to climb my way through my thirties. But on those dreary, cold days where the wind is blowing harder than the predicted chill, I find myself lost in thoughts of you . . . of Us. And I do drift to a place where it’s not so easy to leave — the comfort of it can be damaging.

And who would blame me at this point? Good memories are hard to come by these days and I have enough stored up so I can pull from them at will. Isn’t that a blessing? Isn’t that something for which to be thankful? You would say so. I know this. You saw God in everything including the devil that wrapped himself up in us. You would call us golden if someone gave you the floor long enough to gloat.

I find myself lost in thoughts of you . . . of Us.

I didn’t mean to stray so far away but I was hungry — in search of other ways of getting fed and the easiest route was the one that led to strings being plucked by long, slender fingers and a voice like crème brûlée— sweet & smooth. I stuck to those things. Tangible and present. Different from what I had begun to see in you.

I could never deny the fire burning in us. We stoked it for years, poking at it with thick sticks, setting apart the embers. We had learned how to pull back just in time to save ourselves from becoming charred — scarred for life or disposable.

You saw God in everything including the devil that wrapped himself up in us.

We were music. Classical? Rhythm & Blues? Funk? Maybe we were jazz. The ease of each tune dancing across a room or a verse of scats uttered quickly by chocolate-covered lips. We lasted for hours on play. The B-side was the best side. The B-side was my best side.

Back and forth. Over and over. We had our best days and our worst days and some would say we were like that one Lenny Kravitz song until we were finally over. No more violins or bass riffs. No more snare taps or saxophone rips. No crooning or gyrating at the mic . . . We were — until we weren’t. We grew until we couldn’t.

I was hungry — in search of other ways of getting fed.

And it took so long to get to that place. What were we waiting for?

YouTube

Originally published on Medium.

We Weren’t Built for “I Told You So”

A Prose Poem

I flinch every time I hear the word “honey” used as a term of endearment. You clung to it — it was one of your favorites. “Honey, this” and “Honey, that.” I damn near vomited from the overwhelming sweetness of its usage. We wandered separately for what felt like eons — casually loving others, then solemnly returning to what we’d built . . . what we’d taken a chance on designing. I was never too attached to the bigger things in life. Many have said we would fail — too different, they uttered. But we held on to the missage offered to one another that “opposites attract.”

I want my ring back . . . Selfish, yes? Of course, you’d think this. I’ve spent many nights watching you flirt with anyone who would lend you an ear and a free drink and I am almost sad to say, I should have had my eyes open wide enough. I should have been open to seeing you for who you really were.

I should have known who I really was.

Isn’t that the way of these types of things? You find yourself standing on a ground firm enough to hold your weight, yet you don’t really know if you won’t fall straight through to another dimension just as easily as you landed in the current one.

I’m rambling, I know. You hate that.

But, hear me out . . . Given our current situation, this day was bound to happen. I knew the moment the calls stopped. I further knew the day I packed my last bag and you followed me to the door, touched my right hand gently, pursed your lips, then backed away. The love we shared left us feeling vacant. Months before, unbeknownst to us, we were evicted. Pink-slipped and hurried along to make room for two more women who would find themselves in the same situation five years from now.

I knew you loved him.
I ignored it.
I knew you loved me.
I held on to that.
One was not greater
than the other.
And I thought it was.
That was my mistake.


I settled into a loft — open layout, in a nicer neighborhood. The cat sadly meows in my direction daily — he misses you. You were his favorite even though he is mine. You come by weekly to be with him — to give him the attention he craves. To shower him with your scent. And it is hard for me to see you strutting around as fiercely as you do without being able to wrap you up in my arms and lean into your musk. I tame myself — a shrew, learning to do what is most important — to unlove you.

You tell me this man understands you — that he hears you when you speak. That you have everything you have ever wanted in a partner but he does not hold you. He lacks empathy. He is okay with having you away days on end — he doesn’t need you near him. I nod. I listen. I say that it’s still early and you have to grow together just as we did. I feign acceptance of your new relationship but I see it crumbling in the back of my mind.

You are a whole being.
You think you are half.
You don’t need anyone
to complete you.
But, you think you do.
This is what ended us.
This is why we’re here.

And we weren’t built for “I told you so” and I wouldn’t dare say it.

I tell myself the best part about us not being us anymore is learning who you are without me — it’s learning who I am without you.


Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium. Beautiful people, I wish you a happy holiday season for whatever it is you celebrate and that you’ll be safe, loved, connected, and secure. I am taking a short break and will be active again on Sunday, December 27, 2020. Peace and blessings.

As the World Burns

Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

Photo by Tremaine L. Loadholt

A brief description from Candice L. DaQuin’s blog, The Feathered Sleep:

As The World Burns is available via all good book stores in Kindle and softback NOW. It is an incredible collection of writers, many of whom are from WordPress and are in our writing groups, writing some of our favorite work. We hope you will support them and our efforts to spread awareness of socially vital subjects. If you have felt frustrated with politics, COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, Homophobia or any of the things happening ‘as the world burns’ this is the collection for you.

The Feathered Sleep, November 2020

I am excited about this anthology as I have been looking forward to holding my copies (one for myself, one for my mom, and one for my best friend) in my hands since I purchased them online via Amazon. I have two poems featured in this masterpiece among many other WordPress writers and I would be delighted if you gave this work of art a chance. Creatives create: we find a way to push what’s locked inside us out and we do so using various methods/mediums of art. Mine just so happens to be writing.

What’s yours?