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What Is Real

(after Stanley Moss)

If someone else is kissing you, death is real.
I want no others to know your mouth,
its clever tongue
traveling across my topography
the island of my moxie.

If someone else is kissing you,

then let me curse her now—the both of you—
may you fall limp, empty against an outstretched sky
empty of seed, of sense,
no woman will recognize.

But then, if no one is kissing you,
death is real.


Abigail Warren lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and teaches at Cambridge College. Her work has appeared in Hawai’i Review, Tin House, Emerson Review, The Delmarva Review, and many others. Her essays have appeared in SALON, and The Huffington Post.  Her recent chapbook is Air Breathing Life (Finishing Line Press, 2017).