111.

I run my tongue around the back of my teeth
pushing the perceived space underneath my gums
and being surprised when my teeth hold fast

I’ve had a repeated nightmare, intrusive thoughts
about my teeth coming out; since this started
and I know that in a list of most common dreams
your teeth falling out would come right under nudity

But hear me out as I pretend again that I am special

Do you remember the jagged edge of your teeth
as they dangled, held in only by nerves and roots?
I do. I remember pushing, prodding, twisting
cutting my tongue open on the edge only to
give up at the last second


But I would do it, constantly, until I fell asleep

and perhaps in the night too, as I woke with
a pillow full of blood, scrabbling to find the tooth

And it isn’t that I want my teeth to fall out
nor that I miss starting over

There’s something to the violence of childhood
that I wasn’t prepared for, that I didn’t expect
that set me up for a lifetime of obsession
of running my tongue along my teeth
hoping to start again

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1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

One response to “111.

  1. Reblogged this on Let it come from the heart and commented:
    Curious – a wonderfully vivid poem.

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