I’ve kissed many people in my life. Too many boys my father would have hated, and my mother would have chased out of her house with her favorite chancla. I’ve kissed tall boys and short boys and even a pretty girl once. She smelled of peppermint tea and lemonade flavored Chapstick and we never spoke again.
The feeling of being kissed makes me feel like I could jump out of my bones and dance naked in empty hallways to a music-less playlist and let the air kiss my skin like it was made to. I’ve kissed to Deff Leppard, Elvis, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé’s entire self-titled album, and too many times to a playlist titled ‘Sex’ on Spotify.
There’s something about the feeling of soft lips on mine, like the feeling when you bite into the juiciest summer peach, when your lips wrap around the peach fuzz and it’s never felt more natural. There’s something about that magic. There’s something about the yearning for more when it ends.
The first boy I French kissed was a scrawny teenage boy at a middle school party. He had a horrible buzz cut and khaki cargo shorts on. There were string lights falling from the ceiling and a crowd of red solo cups and hands and asses in the laps of older boys. I saw him from the front lawn, and we locked eyes, there was a little taste of magic. I grabbed his hand and took him to the poolside, and we played footsie until I couldn’t feel my toes anymore. He smelled like pineapple liquor. His lips were full and a little bit chapped, I can’t blame him for that, I guess. We kissed to T-Pain’s ‘Can’t believe it’ and I could feel my tongue itching violently from the pineapple but that didn’t matter. The magic is all that mattered. I swear I had goosebumps for weeks. I could have sworn I thought he was magic.
According to Merriam-Webster, Kissing is defined as; to touch with the lips especially as a mark of affection or greeting. Magic is defined as; an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural force. I could toss these words around in my head all day and all night. By definition they are not the same at all, but they are married in my mind. They hold hands and sing each other to sleep every night. They are one. Kissing feels like I’ve found God and like throwing up and like dancing and like eating too much. I guess what I’m saying is that definitions are subjective, and I just need some fucking attention.
A single day in the Summer of 16’ changed the meaning of a kiss for me. When my mouth was stolen from me from a boy who thought I was something he could pick off the shelf. A porcelain doll I became for months until I was smacked down so much, I had cracks. Cracked in places that are holy and warm and all mine. I remember the day. A sky of violent orange and reds illuminating Chicago’s Westside. Cracked all over and out of glue, I let myself go and promised my mouth would be mine until someone killed me next time, they tried to have it without asking. I think this is why I am the way I am now; I might as well thank him.
I think in the last year I’ve kissed too many men to count I should have just started an excel sheet for it. I drink too much now, and I can’t remember the last time a drunken kiss wasn’t the most thrilling feeling for me. Once I have a sip of that white wine, I feel like I belong to everyone and everyone belongs to me. I think this is a serious character flaw, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about is much more important than that; the all-consuming violent rush that runs right past me when I’m pressing my lips up to someone else’s and how it feels like the time I got a sugar rush in the corner of a run-down ice cream shop in Chicago.
I think about kissing people I shouldn’t a lot, way too much for my own comfort. I think about kissing my ex boyfriends just to be able to spite them with the tricks I’ve learned over the years, like tying cherry stems with my tongue or leaving the most delicious hickies below the collarbones and many more things I wish I could do to them.
One of the last men I kissed was a mistake and there’s no romantic way to dance around it. I remember the numbness of my lips afterwards and the overwhelming feeling of having to vomit my emotions all over the place. I shut the door behind me right after, slid my back down the base of the door until my ass hit the floor and I just sat there, holding my hands up to my lips where he should have given me a whole world of magic and just sat there in silence. My hair was dreaded together like when I don’t shower for two days and my bra was tangled up in my shirt. It all sounds magical and like a song from Jeff Buckley. Then I wondered where his girlfriend was when he was shoving his tongue down my throat and pulling my hair like it was a dog leash. But how can a mistake be filled with that magic? I think I’m in over my head. I have never regretted a kiss more.
The last man I kiss(ed) looked over at me at a stop light and kissed me until the cars behind us honked. He kissed me all night and all over, at the waterfront, in his car, in the wine aisle at Fred Meyers, and in his bed. There was magic from the very beginning and I’m not sure if it will fade but my God, I’d keep him forever if I have the chance. The feeling of his tongue in my mouth had me thinking I was dancing and like I was drowning, but I never thought drowning would feel so dirty and romantic as fuck at the same time. I guess I could say I ate the magic up too quick and I seriously need more dances with his mouth. I could kiss him till my lips went numb and yet, I’d still kiss him some more. I remember each kiss left on my body from his lips and there has to be one person that can tell me it’s fucking magic; one night he scattered kisses along the side of my neck and if I wasn’t so dramatic I’d tell him it was fine, but it melted me like a butterscotch candle in the middle of November.
I know for certain; my father will read through this one day and feel sad because I am far too good for any man and he knows this. I know it too. He will tell me all about how I can’t write these personal things about me and I will tell him my body is art and my words are too and what is a writer if not brutally honest? I apologize to you now. I know that a kiss is merely nothing when in comparison to a life or anything with substance. Yet even talking about it now, I’m flushed, biting my lips and hungry to feel holy and high and hollow.
The warm press of lips to lips in the solitary universe of you and me and all of our magic. Dancing our mouths together to the sweetest song.
I’m fucking starving for more of your magic.
Originally from Miami, Carla lives on in the Pacific Northwest where she drinks beer and writes in her journals. Carla is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago, where she studied Fiction Writing. She is currently working on her first collection of short stories. Her work is featured in Not Your Mother’s Breast Milk Magazine.