This Is What Happens Whenever I Kiss You

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“What does it feel like to kiss me?”

He jokingly asks and I’m suddenly fighting hard to choke back my words. I’m certainly not going to say anything Cool or Collected. No, I’m suppressing sentences like: “FUCKING MAGICAL, LIKE A SEXY UNICORN, idk.”

A sexy unicorn?! What does that even mean?

I’m questioning my own weird brain because she’s always spitting out useless information when I least need it. Or saying words that don’t make sense; I’m a constant case of verbal diarrhea — which I suppose is a preferred version to the real kind. Any diarrhea sucks though.

My mouth is still going and I thought I had shut it up. Nope. I guess not. Now I’m wanting to talk about Bull Sharks and how they can transition flawlessly between fresh AND salt water. And oh! Oh! Mako Sharks! They are the fastest in the world, getting up to speeds of 60 mph! Wait — Stop. Stop. Stop. I’m silencing this running monologue. Or, I’m trying to. I’m some female JD from Scrubs. And that dude was neurotic as hell.

(Also fictional) — my brain chimes in. Shhhhh. Stop.

Kissing is a really strange concept we’ve all just decided not to question. I mean, it’s FANTASTIC. The sheer magnetism in that moment before your lips hit the lips of someone you really dig is a true kind of high — a drug I’d get high on all the time if I could. And sometimes, I do.

I want to keep kissing him until our lungs start shouting in unison, “Hon! Give us a second to breathe!”

Sometimes, he stops and pulls me into his arms. I love that too, but I also want to keep kissing him.

I’m not used to this outpouring of affection. For a while, I thought I was becoming dead inside. Melodramatic, sure, but doesn’t mean I didn’t think it when other boys touched me and I always felt numb. I thought I was done for.

“Your lips are like, fucking perfect,” I so eloquently say, turning his chin down towards me.

I fall asleep with his head nestled in the space between my neck and head. And when I wake up an hour later, I realize I’m scared. I’m scared of how at peace I feel.

I’m used to setting alarms on my phone and telling men I need to go. That suddenly, it’s 6 AM and I’ve just got to leave. No, I can’t stay for round two or breakfast, or any other sweet idea you plucked out of a B-level romcom. I’ll say the same cliche shit I’d hate to be the one to hear. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m just not in a good place right now.

I’ve gotten comfortable with that routine. I do not get invested, and not for lack of trying, but because I accepted I wasn’t meeting anyone who made me want to take the leap. Maybe I used up all my love on the past and that’s just it. I decided it would be okay. I’d be fine. I had a lot of other things going on. I didn’t need that “I want to kiss you constantly” kind of relationship. I was going to be fine.

And then he was there, with those goddamn perfect lips that I ended up dreaming about, and everything I thought was thrown out the window. I’m not done for. I’m starting all over.

I pause, chew on one of my fingernails before remembering it’s a gross habit and need to cut it out. Deep breath.

“Kissing you feels like things make sense again.” TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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