The kiss is the greatest of gifts, a miracle, uniquely human. A kiss beneath the mistletoe. A kiss after midnight. A kiss before dying. The devil's kiss. As a picture tells a thousand words, so a kiss says everything that's important. I am told prostitutes never kiss their clients. It is too personal, too human. We kiss to say I love you. We kiss the rings of the self-important. The feet of conquerors. The rich dark earth when we reach the promised land. We kiss our hands and wave as loved ones begin a journey. We kiss strangers before dawn in the first hours of a New Year because our wintry lips are incomplete until they are oiled by a kiss.
Two spacemen touching in anti-gravity is like a kiss. But then, there is nothing like a kiss. A kiss is a rare bird. The first sip of champagne. The fleeting glimpse of a shooting star. The kiss is uniquely human. We exchange bodily fluids with a kiss. A great kiss is like eating melon on a picnic. Like diving into a warm sea. A French kiss is a battle of tongues where everyone wins.
There is strange, and yet not strange, is the kiss. It is strange because it mixes silliness with tragedy, and yet not strange because there is good reason for it. There is shaking by the hand. That should be enough. Yet a shaking of hands is not enough to give a vent to all kinds of feeling. The hand is too hard and too used to doing all things, with too little feeling and too far from the organs of taste and smell, and far from the brain, and the length of an arm from the heart. To rub a nose like the blacks, that we think is so silly, is better, but there is nothing good to the taste about the nose, only a piece of old bone pushing out of the face, and a nuisance in winter, but a friend before meals and in a garden, indeed. With the eyes we can do nothing, for if we come too near, they go crossed and everything comes twice to the sight without good from one or other.There is nothing to be done with the ear, so back we come to the mouth, and we kiss with the mouth because it is part of the head and of the organs of taste and smell. It is temple of the voice, keeper of breath and its giving out, treasurer of tastes and succulences, and home of the noble tongue. And its portals are firm, yet soft, with a warmth, of a ripeness, unlike the rest of the face, rosy, and in women with a crinkling of red tenderness, to the taste not in compare with the wild strawberry, yet if the taste of kisses went , and strawberries came the year round, half of joy would be gone from the world. There is no wonder to me that we kiss, for when mouth comes to mouth, in all its stillness, breath joins breath, and taste joins taste, warmth is enwarmed, and tongues commune in a soundless language, and those things are said that cannot find a shape, have a name, or know a life in the pitiful faults of speech.