If French Kissing Was As Good As Promised, Shouldn’t I Be Happy By Now?

by Emmy Newman

Featured Art: Southern France by Simona Aizicovici


I am accidentally thinking

about snail sex when we start. Mouths open.

Tongues. When snails have sex

there is a slightly gruesome amount of suction.

First, a tingling graze of eye stalk on eye stalk.

Then a lack of movement. Wet flesh. Fireworks.

Outside my neighbor is walking his Husky home.

Cicadas grate their stiff wings.

My refrigerator clicks on like a drunk uncle

wandering into church mid-mass. Snails

keep going at it for hours, tonguing each other

with their whole foot. Briefly I imagine your tongue & slime.

Briefly I imagine peanut M&Ms

spilling from our lips, more than we could hold in our mouths,

rolling everywhere like runaway sleds.

After you leave, I sweep the peanut M&Ms outside.

The blue jays get sugar high & riot.

Snails shoot calcium love darts. Snails pull each other

out of their own private viscosity.

They are in the open. They ignore the circling hawks.

We tuck our tongues in. We walk away.


Emmy Newman is a MFA candidate at the University of Idaho. Her work has appeared in Cream City Review, Inverted Syntax, The Ekphrastic Review, and elsewhere. She currently serves as poetry editor for Fugue.

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