tr. from Mangalesh Dabral's Hindi prose-poem 'चुंबन'
The history of the kiss is as old as mankind but it is usually nothing more than dry descriptions or adverts of the famous, or the longest or the shortest kisses. A kiss always happens outside history. In that false world, the incandescent lips of two people come so close to each other that you can hear them tremble. All the blood from the body runs to the lips, all thoughts already gather on the lips, softly the heart reaches there and the soul finds there, a home. This is that moment when a flower blooms small bird takes flight stars shine somewhere from under the earth you hear the water flowing but each of these usual events occur in a way that shakes the ground you stand on. At last, the blood returns and the heart resumes its old role of pushing it through the entire body. Thoughts come back to mind and the soul returns to the wilderness. Now everything is ordinary again. We have narrowly escaped a storm, or a fire. We are alive and have returned to history, and are heaving a sigh of relief.