There once was a man from La Crosse
Who never once thought to use floss:
He brushed his teeth rarely
(And even then barely)
And counted each tooth as a loss.
A mealy mouthed man of Bisqué
Says toothlessly all he will say:
Dude was so ruthless
With his toothbrush, he's toothless
From brushing his teeth all away.
Lazily brushing your teeth
Is like lazily wiping your ass;
You don't get all the dirt off,
Unless you don't eat anything.
Don’t you dare complain
Don’t even know about.
Is just as mind numbing
Compared to anything
Made by a man
Who was born in 1994.
The answer to life
Nobody should question
Ask if life has been worth living
Considering your conditions.
And I’ll keep writing
Garbage like this,
Until God tells me
To get a real job
Feed from my soul
Drain me of all life
Take away my happiness
Take away my mind
Grow stronger from my pain
Grow happier from my misery
Show me your way
Show me your hate
Bring me to despair
Bring me to emptiness
Come digest me
Come destroy me
Make me hurt
Make me cry
Sink your teeth into my flesh
Sink your claws into my throat
I pulled the prayers from my raw gums like baby teeth. With the
blood spat into my palm, there lay the tools with which I
chewed up everything I ever put into my mouth. And yet even
then I had felt the hands working my jaw for me.
Every day I tongue the empty space before meals and again at
bedtime. There’s this moment when I feel like I should be
saying something, but the void leaves my tongue aimless in the
newfound space. I’ve grown accustomed to it.
I wasn’t so fond of it when they wiggled in my mouth when I talked
or ate, acting like a broken saloon door for my roving tongue. I
didn’t like to brag about it with my friends. It didn’t quite feel
like a rite of passage as it did a loose Band-Aid.
They dangled on those last few roots that desperately clung on to that
childlike innocence, which looked like Awana badges, Sunday
school, father reading to me bedtime stories of David, the
girlfriends in church that were always repentant after we
I began to believe I could sew it back in if I only believed hard
enough. It was in those last few efforts that I was at my lowest,
when my gums started to become infected as bacteria got
beneath the bone and festered in the flesh. I grew sorer and
At some point I ripped every last one of them out. The therapist had
cancelled my last three appointments. The bible study couldn’t
progress since it refused to answer my first three questions. I
stopped believing an artist had to first and foremost be
I still keep them in a little plastic treasure chest in a cardboard box in
the garage, along with my plastic baseball trophies and other
sentiments unworthy of the bedroom shelves. I recycled all the
extra bibles I previously felt guilty enough to never say no to.
Sometimes a meal looks so good I feel the need to thank someone for
it. Sometimes I wake up so happy I need to give someone credit.
Sometimes that’s not the case. I’m happy I don’t have the voices
telling me through my own teeth how sinful I am.
I’m also happy they’re not telling you how sinful you are.
I tongue the space before meals and before I drift to sleep. I feel
something growing there. My parents are looking into an
operation that will put the teeth back in. I still fear one day I’ll
be the one to grab the sewing kit.
I don’t fear cavities anymore. I think they took them all with them. I
brush my teeth now and believe in modern medicine, and
climate change. Needless to say, I didn’t put them under my
pillow that night.
lucid dreaming, screaming my lungs
out of my mouth. my rotten teeth come
tumbling to the ground. don't wake up,
on the honeymoon
a big sugar cube dissolving in
the concentrated blackness.
the bittersweet molasses swallows
my worst intentions and eats away at them
like they've been dipped in acid.
fever dreaming, blemished skin
sinking into the teeth of my bedsprings.
don't wake up from the bleary haze
of teenage heartbreak, trousers torn on
the upturned nails in her window frame
chicken scratched handwriting,
some name carved into my forearm.
a bittersweet searing pain, more appealing
drowning in the sweat patch on
my rancid mattress.
wish for a prescription medication
induced state of comatose homeostasis
the sleep paralysis i'd live with if
the places i visit in my memories existed.
My body feels like a door that doesn’t fit its hinges
My arms feel like with each swing, their sockets are prepared to fall out
Like the bones will give out
Like the nerves will explode
Like the blood will boil
And never hold again
My legs have been numb from sitting aimlessly for years
My eyes have been blind from beauty and precision
The feeling of falling
Like your body is falling apart
The edge of the cliff or the building or the dock or the bridge
The feeling of falling
“Do you find that you’re grinding your teeth?”
Drastic expectations / exaggerations none
“We’re just calling in today to mention the eventual termination of your place in this organization.”
Body threatening to be pulled by ghosts
Ghostly wailing and demonic laughter
Become discarded shell
The perseverance of the three legged cat that sleeps in my alley pulls me from my bed each morning.
It stretches its hind leg, taking no time to remember when stretching was a simpler task, minding the gap, yet not feeling empty.
It limps from my alley and continues its search for food, or meaning, or whatever cats search for, and I limp into my bathroom, searching for meaning, but settling for a toothbrush.
I scrub away last night’s dreams of teeth falling from my mouth. I remember feeling the weight of my off-white molars in my palm, the rough outer edges in numb fascination. I spit the memory into my sink, and rinse.
The kitchen window has a nicer, if less inspirational, view than its brother in my bedroom. I’ve watched the tree that blocks the city be reborn a dozen times, yet I still feel anticipation every time the brownorangered starts, and I wonder when I’ll grow new leaves. I grab the sugar bowl from the table for morning coffee, but my grip is weak - I’ve always had trouble holding onto things. The bowl slips from my fingers, and the ground is covered with porcelain, off-white shards. I study them, finding a home in the familiarity, and begin to pick up the pieces.
irma in the distance
it was cold and the sheep were bleating.
your hands had made there way under
my shirt, tracing your warmth on my back.
we had talked for hours,
about politics and food,
and tattoos and love.
showing me a sliver of your mind.
you kissed me like you would die without my breath. you took my hand and showed me inside and asked if i wanted to brush my teeth. you gave me one of your extras. the entire time in your bathroom you ran your hands all over me, and we discussed our preferences in perfumes, and the color of each other's eyes. in the bedroom we had a race to see who could get naked the fastest, and you won. we laid under the covers and kissed, everywhere, and you whispered,
"i don't love you, you know"
i said "okay". you continued, "but i like you, a lot, i think you're so damn cute. kiss me." and so i did, forever. i feel like i still am. i could create a home out of your bed and cocoon in there for the rest of eternity.
i leave for europe in three days. you haven't texted me, or anything. your passion has left a mark on me that i will have for a very long time, a mark i will cherish with every part of my soul. these fleeting connections created have left me with bruises on my neck; i have a necklace of lovers that could have been and you're the deepest one of all.