Friday, April 27, 2012

Ceremony Readings For the Discerning Couple, Part I

Look, we love 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 as much as anyone.  It's a classic wedding reading - but sometimes it's good to give the classics a run for their money, especially if you're a bride who's mixing up her wedding with a fresh take on flowers, themes and the litte personal touches we love so much. There are fragments of beautiful poems, book passages and quotes floating around in LFV's collective brain, things we'd love to share with you guys because we think they'd be perfect for saving one of your always-a-bridesmaid friends from having to recite "Love is patient, love is kind ..." for the fifth time.

First up in this series of posts: a poem whose ending is so beautiful that every one of your guests' hearts will stop, and pieces of which have been stuck with us since the first time we read it, years ago.

The Archipelago of Kisses

We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don't 
grow on trees, like in the old days. So where 
does one find love? When you're sixteen it's easy,
 like being unleashed with a credit card
 in a department store of kisses. There's the first kiss.
 The sloppy kiss. The peck. 
The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The we
 shouldn't be doing this kiss. The but your lips
 taste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.
 The I wish you'd quit smoking kiss.
 The I accept your apology, but you make me really mad
 sometimes kiss. The I know
 your tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you get 
older, kisses become scarce. You'll be driving
 home and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road,
 with its purple thumb out. If you
 were younger, you'd pull over, slide open the mouth's
 red door just to see how it fits. Oh where
 does one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile. 
Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
 Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.
 Now what? Don't invite the kiss over 
and answer the door in your underwear. It'll get suspicious
 and stare at your toes. Don't water the kiss with whiskey. 
It'll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters,
 but in the morning it'll be ashamed and sneak out of 
your body without saying good-bye,
 and you'll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it left
 on the inside of your mouth. You must 
nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it 
illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest 
and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a
 special beach. Place it on the tongue's pillow,
 then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneath 
a Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.
 But one kiss levitates above all the others. The 
intersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.
 The I'll love you through a brick wall kiss.
 Even when I'm dead, I'll swim through the Earth, 
like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.

-Jeffrey McDaniel

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