Teeth

the dream, it began
with one of my teeth falling out
and the others were bent like gravestones
toppled and tilting in the weak mush soil
of bleeding gums

the room had blue tiles
half-bleached white in an
aching permanent noon
like a bathroom
in an asylum
in a film
(in a dream)

the mirror was cracked and hanging at odds
my hands were burned and blistered
and my fingers twisted, broken and set
trees and branches, rusted nails

i touched my face and the skin melted and dripped from it
like paint that takes three attempts to open the tin
(with fingernails, with a knife, with a chisel)
something festering and silently toxic

one by one, the remaining teeth came loose
my tongue agitated the rotten stumps
but there was no familiar pleasure
in the final twisting free

i laid my broken teeth
with their blackened roots
to rest in a red velvet pouch

and knew that i was no longer
beautiful.

3 Replies to “Teeth”

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