Half Kiss – by Nalini Priyadarshni


Rare, elusive and pure torture
you can’t possibly begin to imagine what
a half kiss is unless you’ve had one.
One moment it’s inside your mouth
melting your lower lip
you let out a barely audible gasp
and poof – it’s gone
just as its flavor begins to hits you.
Sometime earthy, sometime peppery
but mostly bookish, as sinfulness should be
like a jug full of Feni on a lazy afternoon.
Flighty and flagrant even on good days
a half kiss can seriously jeopardize
your search for happiness.
Like a blob of gum you step on carelessly
it tends to stick to your soul
gnawing it silently.
Half life of any half kiss is way longer
than regular kiss of any variety
typically, a lifetime.




Half Kiss originally appeared in In-Flight Magazine.

Nalini Priyadarshni’s lives in India and her work has appeared at numerous magazines and international anthologies including Mad Swirl, Camel Saloon, Dukool, In-flight Magazine, Poetry Breakfast, The Riveter Review, The Open Road Review and The Yellow Chair.

8 thoughts on “Half Kiss – by Nalini Priyadarshni

      • ‘How timeous’ as my old Chartered Accountant boss used to say ‘cos a thought flew past me as I hit the ‘like’ button as to “what is the ‘essence’ in a poem that attracts me?” What do you mean, you do the most, I am thinking you read them the most at your gatherings or …..?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think poetry is highly subjective. Even more so than prose (which is subjective too of course). I would stop short of labelling any poem as “good” or “bad”, or even trying to define what poetry is. For me the key term is “resonance”. I respond to poems that resonate with me, and even a humorous poem may still resonate (you could argue that resonance is also a key indicator of good comedy). Some poems resonate with a broad cross-section of people, some resonate with a more niche group. My favourite anthologies are the three 20th century collections printed by Bloodaxe (Staying Alive et seq) which are chock full of poems that have that quality of “Universal” resonance. I’m waffling but those poems I “like” best are those that have the strongest emotional resonance or “connectedness”, which I think is strongly linked to authenticity. The form, language and images all contribute to the degree that the subject matter of the poem successfully connects with the reader.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Never waffling and thank you for such a thoughtful reply. Resonance it is then! Am going to return to your comment later and investigate the universal poetry that you like – Not stalkeretting 🙂 just greedy for more avenues to investigate from those I admire. May your day be unblue and not allowed to slip uselessly away. Off to paint things! 😎

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