Is better than poetry, better than painting, better than baseball, Brooklyn Bridge     walks, croissants with nutella,
Better than Proust, all six volumes, lingering longer, lush-slower,
Better than reading anything in the original French,
Better than Beethoven by Wilhelm Kempff, any last name ending in
Better than the Philharmonious hair of Herbert von Karajan,
Better than the Tony Leung films in the oeuvre of Wong Kar Wai,
Better than the sound oeuvre, though this does come close to capturing that
     kissing-you sound,
Better than Moby-Dick the second time around,
Better than Mr. Pecksniff with muffin on his knee,
Better than the beautifully broomed blue suit tailored for me by Mr. Joe Hemrajani,
Better than bachata with Alessia Andrade,
Better than Beatrice and Benedick,
Better than birthday cards from Tyler: I like you and I love you, oh I love you, but
     my fish died,
Better than the intricately cut shoes of Pierre Corthay and much, much less
     expensive, in fact free,
Better than the simple, slim, unpretentious $1.50 cardboard Muji notebooks I write
     about you in,
Better than Basquiat brooding with a cat in his lap,
Better than the chance meeting of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an     operating table,
Kissing you is a slow time manifesto,
Better than Brooklyn Lager after logging a long day of sloughing off teaching in the
And just blowing away English Composition, copy codes and department meetings,
Likewise burnt toast, rock-hard baguettes, balding and the BQE,
And let’s not forget the DMV and the DMZ,
Better than Motoki working around my wobble as I fall half-asleep in his salon
Better than post-coital orange Fanta, though we can include that too
Because you bring out the J’adore in me, when I think of you I want to come up
     with names for new perfumes,
Better than Grom hazelnut gelato, cool as a Stan Getz solo,
Better than a Stan Getz solo, though even better with one going in the background,
Better than Ben Webster’s endless tenor shudderings leaving rose print on the
     spaces of the night,
Best with long, Ben Webster-filled late nights breathing in the bouquet behind you,
Better than Lester? Yes, better than Lester,
Though it’s a tough call in the morning when we listen to him backing Lady Day,
Best not to choose, Why not take all of me? as Lady Day asks in the new voice of
     the world.