• Galocher

    Keith Leonard

    Winter 2024

    The pepper-hint in the arugula.
    The vinegar pinch
    in the homemade dressing.
    The sweet potato
    with its puck of butter
    lighting up our lips.
    Dinner is the only time
    when what’s going on
    in your mouth is also
    going on in my mouth.
    It’s dinner and it’s kissing.
    Kissing as the French do.
    But the French don’t call it
    “French kissing.” Until recently,
    there was no word for it in Paris.
    Now they call it “galocher,”
    which is a play on the phrase
    for ice skates. The tongues
    like paired figure skaters
    gliding into a layback spin.
    The cherry-flip and loop.
    The synchronous triple axle.
    I like, very much, this performance
    of being your partner.

    Keith Leonard is the author of the poetry collection Ramshackle Ode (Ecco/HarperCollins 2016). His poems have appeared recently in the American Poetry Review, the Believer, New England Review, Poetry, and Ploughshares. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

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