‘Kiss me
before the light fades
into the dream of what once was’
she pleads.

Kiss him
and fall,
and then look for him, let her look for him,
falling through the fine hold of false hope
as he moves off
to twist through other sheets.

Kiss him
and he is gone
evaporated in a lips touch
not a minute more than much
and yet she looks for him
she still looks for him
as if his breath were traceable
as if his touch was reachable
as if his promise
was trustable

Kiss him
but once
and watch her fall,
like the dream of what once was,
lost in a single kiss
drowning in dreams that follow
as he moves on
to other dreams
to shatter
with that same kiss.

‘Kiss me,’ she pleads
as the dream finds light and bleeds
onto the folds
in the empty space
on the bed
beside her.

All Words by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on Soundcloud:


There are questions
never answered
and lips
never kissed

There are moments
never mastered
and truths
never told

There are trusts
never broken
and those lips
that still persist

There are dreams
never woken
and those ideals
now growing cold

There are tongues
never tangled
and hands
never held

There are deceits
never dangled
and lips
forever missed

There are bonds
never broken
and desires
never quelled

There are truths
never spoken
on those lips
that never kissed.


All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio recording available on SoundCloud:



To lock lips again,
To draw you in,
Touch your skin
So recently kissed
By the sun,
To feel your hands
Finding their was around me
And shiver, once again,
At that sensation,
To have your breath
Upon my neck,
Along my chest,
Between my thighs
And everywhere else
That you wish to travel along me,
Let me be your next vacation
As you become my intoxication
Where I fall enchanted
By your scent
As you wash over me,
As my tongue
Finds that taste
So long away from me
In streams of love and lust,
All the while smiling
And feeling that smile between us
Sinking deep beneath skin,
Rousing endorphins
That thrill and tingle
Every inch of our being.

This is what the novels meant,
This is how those movies played,
This is the joy that was once
Spoken about as myth,
As fairytale, this is
Being home, in arms,
Wrapped in that embrace
That takes you,
With one touch, one look,
To another place,
Unconcerned with anything
Complicated, tedious, stressful,
But is nothing more simple
Than finding yourself welcomed
Within the heart of someone else,
Equally open, earnest, receptive,
Thoughtful, different to you
But the same too,
Someone who will question you,
Challenge you, create in you,
Wake you, shake you, love you
Awaken the laughter within you,
Someone somehow
Once a stranger to you,
Once an unknown traveller
In this world of coincidences
That sometimes lets the similar collide,
And suddenly, in a crash of considered
And complete clarity,
You are combined together
And candidly completed.


I kissed you goodbye
To remind us
Of all that had failed,
Of all that we’d missed
Since we had first kissed,

I kissed you goodbye
For the hunger,
For the itch and ache
That remains unquenched,
Still famished and benched,

I kissed you goodbye
And I held you,
Body on body,
With our breaths combined
And our tongues entwined,

I kissed you goodbye
To test myself
Or just to tease you,
Remember what was,
To stop time, to pause

I kissed you goodbye
Longing, lusting
For to be naked,
For to be sweating,
Fucking forgetting,

I kissed you goodbye
To seal our fate
Now off and flying
In different directions
While hiding erections,

I kissed you goodbye
Your lips on mine,
Your face in my hands,
Your scent, your essence
Left in your absence

I kissed you goodbye
And tasted you,
Then I smiled at you
And then released you
But in reality I’d already I lost you…


At 22,
I knew as much of myself
As the exotic world
I’d just found
With streets willing me
To walk them
Witness them
And be wooed by them.
My twenties
Had typically emerged
As a decade to be a no one;
An empty slate to be carved upon
Before my thirties would find me
And shout me with substance.

I’d lost parents
Before knowing them; given up
In a sacrifice of selflessness
Almost incomprehensible
And found
In the arms of another mother
A love that would prove

I searched,
During infantile years,
Amid childish ego
And innocence,
For connections
To those around me;
The mother
Loved so unequivocally
And the father
Aged in aggression,
With a gap too great to bridge
And so I turned to walk
Shadowy miles of roads in my head,
Clumsily cramming teenage years
With classically confusing
Childish dribble,
Trying to sound like a grown-up
In size 6 shoes,
Feeling different,
And, more often than not,

I braved knocks on dark doors-
Frequented bars in back lanes
And alley ways,
Away from the eyes of the pious
Whose ignorance
Bullied the boys
With different desires.
I kissed
My first boy
At 18
Behind a sofa
As excited as a child
On Christmas morning,
Finding courage
Behind shades and acceptance
In a community I had become
No longer
Soul member of.

Cuddling and kissing progressed,
Over time, to sweaty,
Fumbling, amateur athletics
Behind the lights
Replacing shame and catholic guilt
With newfound feelings of freedom
As I began
To notch my way
Onto bedposts
Of various conquests.

Between courtings
I often cried
For lovers in whose arms
I should never have laid
And wondered why I ran
From others in whose embrace
I should have stayed,
All but memories
Patterned into the tissue
Of my sleeve-worn,
Still learning, heart,
Cherished moments
That wished to be relived
Along with others
That longed for time to fade.

I had assumed these
To be bruises
As I fell upon these new
Foreign streets
But have recognised them since
To be no more than lifelines,
Imprints, echoes merely of
Shadow and light.

They were all
Important diversions
Along the road,
Pivotal points
Goading me
Into this very direction.
Some of them
Fell away by your banks
And others settled in,
Ingrained themselves like streets
That mapped themselves
Out in front of me
And gradually,
Over time,
Carved their way
Inside of me.



You were watching
While I was sleeping
When time stood still.
Was I dreaming
We were loving
While time stood still?
In our meeting
There was comfort
And time stood still.
I was hungry,
You were chocolate
When time stood still.
In the morning
You were pensive
And time stood still.
Were you thinking
Of me leaving
As time stood still
Or where you thinking
Of his returning
While time stood still?
In our first kiss
I saw our last kiss
When time stood still.
In the daylight
Who do you kiss
Now time’s no longer still?
Do you watch him
While he’s sleeping
Now time’s no longer still,
Like you watched me
When I was sleeping
While time for us stood still?



There once were three people
Namely you, him and me,
There once was voyage
Taking him out to sea.
It gave one chance meeting,
A liaison for us,
Your three nights without him
Lent you three nights for us.

Are you somewhere around
Can you hear me right now?
Do you wake in the night
Sometimes wondering how
Between you, him and me
Can the gap be so small,
If you loved me back then
Did you love him at all?

Can our minds talk freely
From the closeness we shared?
If he wasn’t away
Would you ever have dared?
Your union departed
To let our time arrive,
Your union returned,
Ours could never survive.

I’m alone now again
But not sad and not scared
Though silently missing
All the closeness we’ve shared.
I may wonder at times
Are you still together
Or has our chance meeting
Now changed you forever?

I look for you often
But I scare that we’ll meet
Though still I step slowly
As I walk down your street.
But again you are two,
Not our two, but your two
So I wonder who was I
In the time spent with you?

Just two little lost boys
Found but for a moment,
Cautiously caressing
An air of atonement.
A lack of time and words
Kept the pretence away,
Can love really be found
In a lover who’ll stray?

From long lovely kisses
Neath a slumbering moon
To minute embraces
In a candle lit room.
From finding each other
In a noisy café,
To parting on the stairs
And an end to my stay.

With not a word since then
I’ve figured out my part
And returned once again
To my solitary heart.
Although this time the pace
Has now one extra beat
For our three nights embrace
When our two hearts did meet.


The Long Kiss

Longing to kiss you,


And slow.

But first-

To tease temptation-

I would trace my finger tip

Along the line of your lip-

To feel

What soon I shall taste.

I imagine, now

Alone in the recess

Of my craving mind,

How we would move in


And I’d feel the heat

Radiating from your body

As we’d both shiver slightly

In the unison

Of that sensory touch.

I’d stand so close

That you’d feel my breath


The tiny hairs on your chin


As my nose brushes past your cheek,

I’d take in your scent

Before our mouths fall in sync

And our lips would meet.


To start with,

We’d close upon each other-

Lost in exploration

Of curves,

Of warmth,

Of shape and flavor,

The moisture building-

And we’d be unable to say

If it was yours, or mine

Our ours

And then,

Relinquishing control,

I’d crave to nibble

Upon that perfectly formed

Lower lip of yours

That I could feel

Pulsating against mine

And so I’d bite it softly,

As if to test you,

To tease you open

So as to feel your breath

Entering my mouth

And ever so naturally-

Almost innately-

I’d breath it in

As if to claim it

As mine-

Tried and tasted,

Before my tongue,


May find your cupids bow

And lick its way,


But with mounting hunger,

To the tip your teeth


As my eyes

Pour into yours

And our bodies tremble,

I’d enter you,

At last,

And find your tongue

Ready to greet me-

As if to welcome me in


And deeper



My hands

Would trace their way

Around your waist

And under your shirt-

One hand working its way upwards

Along your spine

To pull you closer,

While the other would

Explore its way

To the heat

Below your waistline.

Longing to kiss you,

I am,


And lasting…


Time, Long rested


I would have laid in your arms,


Right there and then-

Did you know that,

Could you feel that?

Not for the kick of it,

The thrill of it,

Nor for just the fuck of it.

But for that tiny time

We shared in the past

Now set firm in photos,

Misty in the memory

But tingly on the tongue.

I would have kissed you,


There and then,

On the sofa,

In the light-

With the curtains open

And the houselights on.

I would have run my tongue,

So gently,

Along your lower lip

Before sliding it inside you,

To tempt you,

To taste you.

Not because it would be easy,

Not because I have missed it

But because, once, it was mine,


When you were the smell on my body,


When you were the warmth beside me.

I would have undressed you,


In the hallway,

Between the rooms-

Along that casual route

From sofa to bed

Where I would have laid you,

Watched you,

Rose for you,

Before I climbed in beside you

And slid myself on top of you

And felt myself beneath you.

Not just to be horny,

Not just to be cheap,

Not to belittle you just to sex,

But to remember

Back to a time

Which was ours,

And to remember-

In this time-

That touch we shared.

I would have wrapped my body

Around you,

Then and there,

Behind the shadows of a time,

Long rested

And nakedly

I would have spooned you

In the sweet, salty, sweaty afterglow

That tickled along our bodies,


As the night found us

And slowly slept us

And then daybreak-

When morning would find us

And I would open my eyes and smile

At you,

And gently,

I would kiss you-


And let you go,

Shut the door,

Drink my tea

And smell you,


All over me.

All words and drawings by Damien B. Donnelly