Surreptitious Kissing – Denis Johnson

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.

I am in love with this poem, I think. I don’t think it’s fantastic; I’m not a huge fan of the short lines AND the couplets, and I’d much rather it as one long stanza. But I think that it’s good, and sad, and rather sort of hopeless in spite of the fact that hope is mentioned. “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…” How beautiful and miserable and true.

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