THE SHINE JOURNAL

Flash Literature, Poetry, Art and Photography!

KAIROS

by

Cindy M. Kelly

 

The space of time

between breathing

and closing my eyes,

that split second

before I feel the static

of his lips almost touching

mine – pay attention –

it never feels the same,

exactly, again.

 

The little blink

between the first glance

and the smile of recognition-

it's in that instant

when I catch my breath

and feel alive again.

 

That catch-me-off-guard

when an old friend's

hands come round

from behind to cover

my eyes – it's between that

and the guess who.

 

The smile-inside of hearing

his voice the first time

he called, it's that moment

right before that –

when he breathed in

and I wished it was him.

 

It's that lean-in moment,

that sense something's

just about to happen –

it's the almost that's erotic.

 

It's the second I feel his hand

about to touch mine

but not quite yet. 

It's the know

he's going to.

 

It's the almost kiss.

And it only happens once.

It's the better-than-everything

else of friends who sleep

next to each other,

share blankets,

and the wanting

that makes you scoot

closer together. 

 

It's the waiting

for the movie

to get scary enough,

the excuse

to grab on

and not let go.

 

It's that last piece of pizza

we shared,

the last bite

between us

when his lips

touched mine

and he bit down hard

to keep it from being

a kiss.

 

It's the quiet between

the laughter,

that head-over-heels,

the drink that finally makes me

tipsy, the hit that makes

the boxer dizzy,

fall down.

 

It's the feeling of driving

in the winter

with the heat on,

windows down,

the breath I take

before screaming

at the top of my lungs

from the rooftop

of the tallest building around.

 

It's knowing

if I opened my eyes,

I'd break the illusion

and knowing

it only happens

before the first times-

it's why we never go

through with it.

It's why we always stop

at almost,

why our hearts

are always breaking

for wanting to.

 

It's the feeling

of you staring

at me

when I'm sleeping

and hoping

I don't have to

wake up yet. 

It's hoping we always

stop at the almost,

it's preserving

the magic, the static,

the quiet, the shiver.

Cindy M. Kelly Shares

 

I write sporadically. I live sporadically. I'm often thankful that I have an unusual family and even more unusual friends. They are my constant inspiration. When I'm not writing, I'm making quirky, whimsical painted things to sell in my Life On Europa line, currently only available at Olde Garage (www.oldegarage.com) or at Wholly Craft (http://www.myspace.com/whollycraft) in Columbus, Ohio.

I live in Amsterdam, Ohio with my Himalayan cat, Ursala Miner. I'' an English Major/Writing Minor at Kent State University. My other hobbies include volunteering with high school Theatre students, blogging, reading and arguing about classic and contemporary literature, and altering books. I'm also one of the founding members of The Appalachian Square Table and editor of  Plain Spoke, an Appalachian-Americana Literary and Folk Art Journal.

About Kairos


In the first writing class I ever took, my instructor, Amy Sargent, told me that reference books are an invaluable source of inspiration. She suggested we start collecting bird guides and flower identification manuals, that one never knows when they might come in handy. I started browsing through the reference section at used booksellers afterward, and one day found a dictionary of ancient words. I didn't buy it, but when I flipped through it, I noticed the word kairos. It means something like a fleeting moment or a crucial time.

It reminded me of J. Barlow, who I met my freshman year of college. Some of the moments we shared in the early stages of our friendship seemed, in reflection, like those fleeting moments - chances that, once gone, never happen again. In there lies the inspiration for this poem.