The Red of an Open and Waiting Mouth

There’s nothing so violent as the way we claim
our bodies for our own—
one barked scream thrust from forming lungs
into the unclear certainty of hospitalized ritual
and treated just as uniformly,
the rest of our well-chosen lives
tv dinners and a healthy dependence
on idling search engines


The moment, we moment, where live wires are anacondas
and two pieces of bread are your fingers’ chosen mattress.
when peeling the scab where you shaved your skin too close
reveals the palpitations of a tomato smelling as musky
as forgotten copper, collecting under a misplaced sink.

These are moments sharpened by the appearance of shiny
new teeth in the fogged vanity mirror,
biting down on the plump pepper of your bottom lip,
splitting open to the pulp within;
and your mouth upturned and howling

As uncontrolled as the first time you tasted air


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