As wild hogs, fresh from a wallow,
            scrape against the trunk
of a telephone pole while rushing past,
            smearing their flanks
with creosote and leaving behind
stiff bristles and splattered mud;

or a cardinal intently crushes
            carpenter ants in her bill,
then rubs their formic acid along
            her coverts and tail,
staining that dim blush
with a streak of gloss:

you kiss hard, sure to find
some happiness to savor on the plane.

Devin Johnston (© 2007)