Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 8
Fall 2013

Emergency Kiss

by Jim Moreno

Maria was an E.R. nurse,
it was wise not to dine with
in the hospital cafeteria.
As I would dive into my pasta
she would describe bloody entrails
of a knife-fight patient screaming at the suturing...

It was also most important to kiss Maria
as much as possible.
Swedish ancestors not only bequeathed her
with emerald green eyes, two beryl beacons of love,
she also possessed impossibly full luscious lips.
I saw a luminous stained glass window after one passionate kiss

in our sleeping bag on the floor of the Grand Canyon.
The clear, star-filled night spoke to me of love: 
“See how pure are her kisses, 
open your heart to her,” it whispered.
Orion winked at me as I wafted towards dreams,
Dreams blessed by my full-lipped kissing nurse, 
late of the lodge of my love; late of the emergency room.



SHJ Issue 8
Fall 2013

Jim Moreno

created and developed “Cultural Circle Poetry Workshops” as a Language Arts Teacher at the All Tribes American Indian Charter School on Rincon Reservation. He then taught poetry to incarcerated youth in San Diego Juvenile Hall from August of 2005 until June of 2013.

Moreno is the author of Dancing in Dissent: Poetry for Activism (Dolphin Calling Press, 2007) and two CDs: reversing the erased, exhuming the expunged and A Question From Love (Dolphin Calling Press, 2007 and 2011). His next books, Jim Crow Poems: Teaching Poetry to Incarcerated Youth and Songs From Grandfather, will be published before the end of this year.

His website is; contact him at jimpoet [at] hotmail [dot] com for more information.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury