Uploaded by kimberly mckeehan


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.