Romantic Kissing

Joy of the Day 4/365 

Did you know that romantic kissing is not universal? Only about half of all human societies include it. I kinda feel like I got lucky by being born on the kissing side.

The world's most fabulous ode to making out might be in chapter seven of the Julio Cortazar novel Rayuela (In English, Hopscotch). In honor of kissing, here's my own translation of the whole, 267-word chapter. (See the original Spanish here.)

I touch your mouth, with a finger I touch the border of your mouth, I go tracing it as if it were left by my hand, as if for the first time your mouth is barely opening, and I just close my eyes to undo it all and begin again, each time I create the mouth I desire, the mouth that my hand chooses and sketches on your face, a mouth chosen from all the others with sovereign liberty for me to sketch with my hand on your face, and that by a random chance I don’t seek to comprehend coincides exactly with your mouth that smiles below my hand that sketches you.

I look at you, from up close I look at you, each time closer and then we play cyclops, we look at each other closer again and again and our eyes get larger, get closer, they superimpose and the cyclops look at itself, breathing confusedly, our mouths encounter each other and they struggle warmly, biting with the lips, the tongue barely supported in the teeth, playing in the enclosures where a heavy air comes and goes with an antique perfume and a silence. Then my hands seek to bury themselves in your hair, to slowly caress the depths of your hair while we kiss each other as if we had a mouth full of flowers or fishes in living motion and dark fragrance. And if we bite each other the pain is sweet, and if we drown each other in a brief and terrible simultaneous drawing of breath, that instantaneous death is beautiful. And there is just one saliva and just one taste of ripe fruit, and I feel you tremble against me like a moon on the water.