The Last Kiss

You said goodbye in the anonymity of Paddington Station. Train announcements echoed off the high roof, flattening your voice with a thousand others. Destinations, track numbers, and your decision were incomprehensible. I should have known you would go back to her. Responsibilities and excuses. Men always go back to your wives. You left your coffee cup on the table, lukewarm dregs in the creases round the base. I studied the place you had last taken a sip, and pressed my lips to the cardboard, tipped it up, drained the cup. This would be our last kiss, moisture enveloping our DNA in the acinar cells of our saliva, embracing in my mouth. I envisioned them sluicing down my oesophagus, swirling through my gut, absorbed through my intestinal wall, flowing through my veins, pumping their way into the tiny embryo that has the shared double helix of us.



Louise Mangos