Kiss by Steve Kowit
On the patio of that little cafe in the Del Mar Plaza
across from the Esmeralda Bookstore, where you can
sit sipping latte & look out past the Pacific
Coast Highway onto the ocean, a couple is tangled
in one of those steamy, smoldering kisses.
His right arm coils her waist, arching her back
& drawing her toward him. He could be Sicilian,
or Lebanese, with that gorgeous complexion,
those chiseled forearms, that clutch of dark curls.
The young woman’s skirt, lilac & sheer, lifts
as she stretches, levitated out of her sandals, out
of her body, her head flung back, fingers
wrapped in his curls. Her long chestnut hair
spills toward her thighs as she clings to his mouth,
to his loins, to his chest. How wickedly
beautiful both of them are! To their left,
off the North County coast, on an infinite sea,
two sailboats triangulate heaven. In the sheen
of the morning, you munch an apricot scone
& sip your cafe latte, that blue cup of light at your lips,
with its genie of steam. In its vase, on your table,
a white tea rose shimmers. Your fork
shines on its plate. Everything trembles & glows.
ah! says the girl poetry student. he’s exactly right about this plaza. i don’t know what used to be there, i don’t know what sort of rituals happened in that place. but i am certain that others have known its power. i heard Steve Kowit and Al Zolynas read in that plaza. and Allen Ginsberg. late from the airport, tired but wholly present three years before he died. here (via Open Culture) is a lovely, old clip of Ginsberg riding happy on a tugboat twenty five years earlier.