I’ll kiss you once in the morning when I wake up to remind you of the night before. The sheets of my bed pool at our feet, tracking up thin until our knees, our cumulative friction having cast them away, slipping away like the fog of last night’s rest.
I’ll kiss you twice in the morning when you finally shake yourself from bed, to anchor you to the ground in the fog of coming awake.
I’ll kiss you four times in the afternoon before I turn my attention away to my writing, immersing myself in the fog of running words and sentences out my fingers.
I’ll kiss you eight times in the afternoon when I call you to join me in the shower, standing behind you in the fog of coming clean, my hands at the cusp of your stomach and trapped around your neck, and the hot rain of shower water fills us and follows us long throughout the day.
I’ll kiss you sixteen times in the evening when, while watching you as I read a book I’ve read a thousand times — just as I’ve kissed you, those passages still enthrall me with a greatness of heart — I realize how smitten I am with you, and the smile that comes from me is a smile that pierces the fog of being in love.
I’ll kiss you thirty-two times in the evening when we slip to dinner and slip to dessert and drive away in circles around the city we inhabit together. You are not keeping count. You are lost in the fog of urban loneliness and even with every kiss to your lips, your forehead and your neck, your thoughts track you like a sudden dread that leaves you anxious for no apparent reason, like guilt, like fervor, like pleasure.
I’ll kiss you sixty-four times in the night when we adjourn to bed, you loosening your skirt and me loosening my tie, our lips loose with gossip from the other night, a contagious yawn moving from your mouth to mine in the fog of tiredness and a day well-spent. You’ll part your legs and press your toes against my thighs and tempt me with a grin that twinkles your eyes and blushes your face. I’ll lower myself to count my sixty-four kisses to your body (“sixty, sixty-one,” I murmur to myself deep in thought amid your breasts) and while you tap your big toe on my treetrunk thighs I’ll tell you (“sixty-three, sixty-four”) that I want to hold you first, for the moment, for now.
I’ll kiss you a hundred and twenty eight times in the night when I take you in bed, in the fog of passion. The routes I take along your body are not the fastest to the destination, nor the most direct. I take detours and triple right turns. You’ll moan my name at the twelfth kiss, and press your knees to my chest at the thirtieth. Even when you face away from me, turning with your elbows to the mattress so I can have you from behind, my fifty-fourth kiss catches you in your hair where my hands are bunched in raw fistfuls. The fog of passion fills my space and my sight at the eighty-ninth kiss, where you turn your hair despite the difficult angle and reach for my mouth. At the ninty-first kiss I feel you shudder with an intensity that requires a minor Richter scale. At the hundredth kiss I match your shudder with one of my own, and I pull you to me so you feel the warmth of my breath on your neck, the warmth of my come inside you, the warmth of my feet indenting yours into the bed. At the one hundred twenty-seventh kiss I ask wipe the sweat off your forehead and turn to reach for the sheets still pooled at the edges and spilling onto the floor. At the final kiss of the night, after two hundred and thirty nine kisses, I crown your left cheek with a light kiss and we drift to sleep.