KISSING A KIT FOX by Pattiann Rogers The kit fox has fine lips. Often black or grey, they are as demure as two slight fronds of Mayweed in fog, yet a little fuller. They are capable of pulling back, disappearing up and into the nether to reveal his impressive fangs. The lips of the kit fox taste sometimes of the sweet spring water he drank in its dark rock the moment before. They taste also sometimes of the rank bone marrow of the dead peccary he licked in the ditch for a meal. His lips and breath today tasted of the peanut of desiccated grasshoppers burned dry. The needle teeth of the kit fox when kissing sometimes pierce the lover’s tongue with sevenfold hot spears like the sun. Often too they puncture the lips of the lover and bring blood to the mouth like the moon. A few cherish this pain when kissing the kit fox, because they believe they then may speak with the authority of scars on the nature of day and night. And when kissing a kit fox, some are lucky, for he will occasionally wrap the thick ragrances of his plush tail around the lover’s neck up to the ears, or better, across the eyes and over the nose. One may then fall completely into the lush swoon and smother of his race and art—cactus juice, thorns and the musk of fear, snake seed, fecal rat. Some say kissing the kit fox is a story, because it has both character and event, both union and scorn. But some say it is a song in syncopation that they may tap to themselves in loneliness for comfort. Others say kissing the kit fox is a place one may enter, a location with boundaries fixed in space, a measurable site in a portion of time. I say kissing a kit fox is like memory, because it is a mere invention of pleasure and pain, a creation of wild risk with wound and fetish, certain evidence of either the unlikely or the lost.