Dog Kisses

by Jennifer Haddock

I can’t help enjoying that pink, wet tongue that leaves its slimy path down my face and causes others to shudder and turn away as they think about the toilet you just drank from or the private parts that you just cleaned. I know that you are probably licking off the salt of my skin or replaying your instinctual search for regurgitated food from your mother’s mouth. But my heart tells me that this is love and perhaps even appreciation, as if you somehow know that I snatched you from the death that waited at the end of that gray-green hallway. Although people kisses are nice and much less likely to infect me with some parasite or bacteria, they are also less enthusiastic and certainly less unconditional. So I abandon my face to the warm, viscous love of your dog kisses. Although forgive me for keeping my lips pressed tight together against the images of where your tongue has been, for I am only human.


Jennifer Haddock, whose work is featured in Six Sentences, Volume 1, is a writer, therapist and mother from Baltimore, Maryland.