the first five kisses of the year. I was wearing a dress you could almost see my tits in. they’re the only good parts of my body, and they’re effortless. do we call them tits? what is respectful? our friend, not having anyone especially to kiss, took photos in the stinking apartment. it was a sheer dress with a smooth low navy slip. we are doing a long-distance thing. gracie is a pianist, the good kind. we like to kiss a lot. we kiss a lot, I like it, I don’t ask her every time whether she does. her face is mobile. it is difficult to copy. the neat eyebrows, the long nose. I miss gracie daily, I boast about her daily. she is a pianist, the kind everyone loves, she looks like an octopus sometimes. we eat chickpeas and ice cream together and she never smells bad at all. I’m not morally ambiguous. I’ll kiss only gracie, and tits are acceptable, even mine, at the bodega, jostling hot cheetos. outside I kiss gracie on the mouth in the dark in the terrifying city. then she worries. I am too stupid to worry. I am too far away and stupid to worry.
Sophie van Waardenberg is a poet from Aotearoa New Zealand and an MFA candidate at Syracuse University, where she serves as an Editor-in-Chief of Salt Hill Journal. Her first chapbook-length collection, does a potato have a heart?, was published in Auckland University Press's New Poets 5 (2019), and her work has appeared in Starling, Mimicry, Sweet Mammalian, and Best New Zealand Poems. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @sophrosevw.