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I wrote this poem for a competition aimed at generating HIV awareness. The theme for the contest was " It's time to kiss stigma and discrimination goodbye." Everyone has a story, more often than not, crafted from innocent beginnings. Let's love more and judge less.

The Kiss

6b7e2884e1a0da7cdb410bd5f2cc3e4aby Jessica Taylor13 Jan 2014

They say you must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss
So you told me…entreated me…persuaded me
A goodbye kiss
That’s all-you said
Who could have known what goodbye would really mean
Yet a kiss was just a kiss
And so it all began
Tentatively exploring
Precariously perched on the moral boundaries which for so long had kept us confined
Intoxicated and emboldened by the sugary taste of this nascent love
Dizzy with promises of sweeter things to come
We dared to defy limits of gravity and speed
All sense of prudence militantly tossed to the wind
Inevitably we slipped
and fell headlong into
The kiss that was just a kiss…….
Now here I sit at the clinic
Bursting at the seams with this beautiful creation growing inside of me
Germinating from the seed that was planted in the fertile earth that enveloped
The kiss that was just a kiss
Boldly navigating my womb and with a sense of entitlement extracting all that is hers
What do I say to you innocent one
Into what will you be born
There is so much that I would like to teach you
So many vices to shield you from
For I am on the verge of reluctantly expelling you into
A world where you will be shunned and ridiculed by other innocent ones
Their feet firmly rooted in the ignorance cultivated by their parents
A world where your boss will suddenly no longer require your services
Due to extenuating circumstances beyond his control
A world where your lover on realizing that
A kiss is not just a kiss
Rejects you in favour of other naïve and pliable souls
A world where you sit at the clinic
Under the intense scrutiny of the health care worker
Who looks through you at the other promiscuous you’s who got what they deserved
But no my beloved
Don’t you for one moment feel ashamed
Always remember that you are valuable and loved
So you will muster the courage to
Hold your head up high
Straighten your back
And put a swagger in your step
If only they knew
That you would always remember this...
A kiss is NEVER just a kiss
And they can kiss your ahh…em and their dated myopia

Jessica Taylor © 2012