The kiss is, strictly speaking, a passing
of of twice: a bead from her mouth to his,
then back, ad nauseam, and the boys who lived
and died for it. The lovely girl amassing
ninety-nine spirits, and in high spirits
for consuming her highest amount. Once
the hundredth boy arrived she starts her hunt
in her haunt, a hill’s field filled with fitting
And every day they kissed to swap the bead
and for a month he waned and wans
and when he learned the truth about her tongue,
he downed the bead: her true form a nine-tailed
fox who could have turned human, had he kissed on.
Source: Poetry (November 2013).