“As she bends for a Kleenex in the dark, I am thinking of other girls . . .

“As she bends for a Kleenex in the dark, I am thinking of other girls: the girl I loved who fell in love with a lion—she lost her head over it—we just necked a lot; of the girl who fell in love with the tightrope, got addicted to getting high wired and nothing else was enough; all the beautiful, damaged women who have come through my life and I wonder what would have happened if I’d met them sooner, what they were like before they were so badly wounded. All this time I thought I’d been kissing, but maybe I’m always doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, kissing dead girls in hopes that the heart will start again. Where there’s breath, I’ve heard, there’s hope.”

Daphne Gottlieb, Kissing Dead Girls