a reminder of room three’s august

by | Feb 7, 2022 | Issue Twenty Five, Poetry

i can too easily feel my teeth                rotting,

feel the pulp ache to die off and the enamel

begs to            strip      itself into the folds of my

cheeks. i can feel my teeth rotting from the inside

out. i am my mother’s son. that is a fact     known:

that burning in my throat –       heavy and hard, 

that tug at my tear ducts –  is the proof that cannot

be swallowed. and my mother and i do not cry and

we know that burn      we know that burn like a

shame        we know that burn bubbles up and over

into our teeth   bubbles up and over through our

teeth, that acid burn bog swallows everything into

cankers and my fingers scrape through the          rot,

nearly  pull      them    from    my       gums. i

never know if i should try one last time to swallow 

or                     rip my gums empty and                  raw.

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