Lips' language to lips' ears.
Two drinking each other's heart, it seems.
Two roving loves who have left home,
pilgrims to the confluence of lips.
Two waves rise by the law of love
to break and die on two sets of lips.
Two wild desires craving each other
meet at last at the body's limits.
Love's writing a song in dainty letters,
layers of kiss-calligraphy on lips.
Plucking flowers from two sets of lips
perhaps to thread them into a chain later.
This sweet union of lips
is the red marriage-bed of a pair of smiles.
-Rabindranath Tagore
From Kadi O Komal (1886)

A sculpture by Auguste Rodin, the Kiss is derived from a detail on his larger work, The Gates of Hell. In that work, which was originally designed to be the entrance to an Arts museum in Paris which was never built, the figures, a male and female embracing, represent Paolo and Francesca, the doomed lovers from Dante's Inferno.

When this detail group, executed in bronze, was first exhibited in 1886 however, critics called it "Le Baiser" (The Kiss), distancing it from its literary roots, and that is the title has been known under ever since.

Rodin began an enlarged version, in marble, in 1888, but it was not completed until 1898, when it was shown at an exhibition for which Rodin was responsible for the sculpture section -- the Salon de la Société national des Beaux-Arts.

The work is incredibly detailed and is often described as a masterwork of the sculptor's craft. It is certainly one of the most widely recognised pieces of sculpture in the world.

The Kiss is currently exhibited at the Musée Rodin.

"You're going away to college?"


"When are you leaving?" K---- was there with her girlfriend S--.


"Ohhh." I couldn't read her emotions. This was the girl from the biology class. She was always so easy to talk to. It was before her family's troubles.

"Could I give you a kiss goodbye?" she asked.

I was surprised, but said sure. We leaned into each other, and I put my arms around her and held her in a chaste, careful sort of way. She put her arms around my neck. Her full, warm lips kissed me for what seemed like an eternity. She pulled away. I was still there, eyes closed, kissing the air. It was electric, an out of body experience. That was the sexiest kiss ever. I opened my eyes, and she looked infinitely sad.

I walked them through the stores. When K---- was trying something on, S-- pulled me aside, and said to me angrily, you never asked her out, didn't you know she's had a crush on you for years?

No, I didn't know. I didn't know. I wish I had.


Won't you lend your lungs to me
Mine are collapsing
Plant my feet and bitterly breathe
Up the time that's passing
Breath I'll take and breath I'll give
And pray the day's not poison
Stand among the ones that live
In lonely indecision

Townes Van Zandt

I don't want to wait
For our lives to be over
I want to know right now
What will it be?

I Don't Want to Wait
Paula Cole


Hush, love.


I took a lifetime to find you and my childhood to get to your side. Now here thigh to thigh, must we waste another life's days to cross the last yard? Eternity to cross the last inch?


This is how it feels, to be present, and nothing between but the want of the other. And touch isn't enough. I want the smell of you, the thought of you. I want to consume the light of you that illuminates my mind and creates the story of us. I want to dissolve you in me so your history becomes mine, and I can remember your first breath.


When it starts it's soundless. Timeless solitude. The image of her that becomes a drop is her fingertip gliding across skin underneath the cloth just as water from the heavens that in delicate adherence changes how he thinks of himself, like a swimmer fresh from a pool, or a child in from the rain must say: first I was, but now I am bathed in you, unrecognizable as the boy who stood before.

And he wants the rain all over. Wet in invisible warmth from her to him, cradled in the light from her skin that fills his mind with how he would woo her if only he'd been a poet. The slide of her hand, tiny electricity against his thigh. Live at the point of contact, energized and anticipating its travel up the length of his limb, through the skin to the heart itself--it's how she adores him.

He wants to tell her he's found within himself something smooth and valuable, the scintillation of pure grace he was granted at birth.


The scent of something sweet that rises between them draws her, until she is falling. And leaning into his palm against her cheek she imagines the dream of him could protect her from pain that prowls the night, from lightning and unlucky cards, the tigers and hurricanes.

She wants to be locked inside forever with nothing more than the storm and the sun inside him, the subtle hiss of flesh against flesh, the sound of his hand wiping sweat from his brow, the cool cut of his jaw through the air and the force of his gaze upon space as if he commands it to be. To fall within and through him so in his bringing her creation, she creates life.

She wants to tell him she can see further than now, but the words are lost on his movement toward her, and captures her the way twinkling stars and half-thought notions become entangled in poems and unfinished sentences.

Quiet, love.

Eyes closed they can still see. His lips in her mind. Glistening wet in the corner of her eye.

Now they move through the separation of their breath. Now divided only by the tenuous thread of starlight from the night outside, it disappears in exploring the last millimeter of what they were, and at last feel the flesh quiver underneath, something real and alive to touch with the tongue.

Alive as if born in each other's radiance, this becomes their story.

Heartbeats dancing across broken glass. The room is no longer. The other people are no longer. Past and future do not exist. The moment consumes everything. There is nothing but the passion, the spark that became a fire that could not be ignored. It had to be met.

Screaming eyes
The point of lust
Consumption is everything
Passion becomes a mirror
We are well met
The reflection melts
As two become one
All that matters is this instant

This is the stuff myths are made of.

It is an instant in time that becomes an eternity within itself. The moment defies time and alters your journey forever. Souls entwined that cannot look away, there is nothing else you can do.

The Embrace

There is always something familiar in the moment. We know it before it happens. We remember this moment. We know this moment. We can kiss a thousand people and never know the moment, but on the horizon it is always waiting, often where we cannot see it because we don't know how to look for it. Then the eyes meet, the dance begins, this feels familiar, this feels very strange. You may shudder. You may blush. You know something is happening within you. Then it explodes. Contact. A hand on a knee as you face each other. Hands entwining fingers with hands. Someone brushes the hair away from someone's face. The moment is beginning to consume you. Your heart races. You can feel the moment before it happens. You can already taste the lips. You can already feel the warmth. Your breathing becomes more rapid. The contact becomes closer. More frequent. More intense. You can feel each other inside of yourselves as if you know for just this moment you will become one. It begins to consume you and now you have little choice but to answer the call or run away quickly. The point of no return is upon you.

I can't take it any longer
I smile
You smile

I can smell your skin, your breath, your life
I can feel your heart beating
It is matching mine
They have entered into a strange, matching rhythm


We'll try to recreate this moment later. It is not likely to happen. The Kiss only happens under specific circumstances, and never when you are trying to make it happen. Sometimes, a kiss is just a kiss.

From our Science Bureau:

"The Kiss is frequently misunderstood, as it is merely the product of overactive hormonal impulses. Often The Kiss will be the first intimacy between two people, thus the newness of it, combined with a strong mutual attraction will produce and explosive mixing of acid and base to cause and explosion, in an emotional sense. There is nothing much to it. Just sexual tension being released, often in combination with drugs or liquor."

Although it most often happens with first contact, this is not unusual. When two souls, matched on some level, come into contact and their orbit of each other creates a kind of gravity that draws the souls together. The Kiss never happens with a purely physical attraction. There is something more to it. It is always in the eyes. Two souls seeking each other across eternity have finally found each other again. Somebody get me the fire department.

Across time, The Kiss can be reproduced. Sometimes souls lose each other within the frame of one lifetime as well as across eternity. The Kiss can seize the reunion. The memory of the moment lost in eternity can be remembered. The Kiss can be real again.

It will not matter where you are. It does not matter what kind of music is playing, what you are wearing or what you had for breakfast that morning. There are certain souls that have been in a cosmic dance for so long and have spent so much time seeking a soul that reflects their own that they forget why they are doing it. The Kiss answers part of the question. It is a moment that stops time and lives forever. It is the answer to a question we do not comprehend.

"The Kiss" is a 1896 very short film, starring stage actors May Irwin and John Rice, and shot by Thomas Edison, depicting a kiss.

At the time the film was shot, Irwin and Rice were acting in a stage play called "The Widow Jones", and the movie is a reenactment of the final moment of the play, when the two of them kiss. While not exactly a "movie" by our modern definition, it is a very early example of a scene meant to carry some dramatic import, rather than just to show off the ability of a camera to capture motion.

Along with failing modern standards of dramatic storytelling, the kiss, as scintillating as it might have been at the time, falls short of our modern notions of romance. Neither one of the actors is exactly sexy, and their kiss seems to be holding their checks together while mumbling to each other, followed by a few seconds of a full-on kiss. Still, considering this came out two centuries ago, it gets a pass.

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