To the Wordless Lips

I think that this will be part of a series chronicling the countless lips that have graced my own over my 25 years. If my lips, as Shakespeare suggested, are two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth rough touches with tender kisses, then it seems they are true nomads, and their exploration varied with peaks and valleys as any other pilgrimage.  To all the lips I have kissed, each type a different experience, a different feeling, a different memory… Each pair’s been important, though for a number of different reasons.


To the wordless lips. The nameless lips, those anonymous lips that I know only by touch and taste. Our tacit relationship was likely silenced by throbbing music or drowned with liquor that burned our throats and made speaking not only unnecessary but, at times, impossible. We didn’t mind, though.

Regardless of our first language, we spoke the way two travelers from distant countries might. We gestured absurdly, depending on body language and eye contact to transmit volumes. To those foreign lips who make up far too many of my kisses, I think you all stem from a common denominator. His name was Lex, at least I think that’s what I heard over the din of the 18 and under ground bumping and grinding around us. The champion of a dance contest, Lex (Rex? Dex? Max?) had all the moves (none like Jagger, though this was before the era of Ke$ha). And, oddly enough for a girl who defines her existence by word on the page and spoken aloud, the moves were enough. When he sauntered over to me through the throng, his body fluid like a jellyfish, I couldn’t help but be lured into his arms. Our bodies’ rhythms matched one another and before I could blurt out my name or inquire awkwardly what school he went to, his lips pressed against my own.

My first kiss was never supposed to be like that. As a planner, none of my kisses were supposed to be like that.

Anal-retentive characteristics aside, I wouldn’t trade that first kiss for any rehearsed, hokey RomCom-style liplock. My sweat mingled with his, and my taste buds exploded with that adolescent cocktail of salt, bubblegum, and adrenaline. When you’re at an under-18 dance party, last call tends to be fairly early, and as I glided into my friend’s mother’s SUV, lips still tingling, I knew I was hooked.

To the wordless lips, you were my first. And while I doubt you’ll be my last, I look forward to many more scattered in between the two.


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