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    grasp at the air

    In Academy Street by Mary Costello, I came across some difficult sentences.
    The narrator, a shy girl, loves a man but he is quite unusual and after kissed her once, he had gone.

    "She felt his approach, felt him steal into her, leaving a cold shivery fear at her centre, and afterwards a waning numbness. The only cure would be the sight of him. She crawled into bed. In the dark her mouth shaped itself to kiss, re-kiss,grasping at the air in little fish gulps. She bit back the reflex, the trembling mouth."

    I do not really understand underlined parts. if possible, please kindly someone help me out. Many thanks!

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    Re: grasp at the air

    The first phrase refers to the way that fish appear to gulp in food. The character's lips resembled a fish's mouth when she pursed them for an imaginary kiss.

    The second means that the character forced herself to stop the gesture, either by actually biting her lip or by acting as if she had done so.
    I am not a teacher.

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