19


I want to stretch my mouth around you.
Greedily pluck your wings,
stuff them through my teeth
so my cheeks are hamster-full.
You gave me a lifetime of toes split in half
with bones poking out to reach the tulips.
You left me a peeling prison tattoo
stitching shadows over my lips.
Now each bubble I blow
sounds like death rattles.
When I was fifteen,
I stayed in bed for a week
and finally knew what it felt like
to rip out my fingernails,
sew a boy's name on the flesh,
and gluestick them back on again.
I am nineteen now,
and paint my cheeks with mangled pigeons.
Yet I still don't understand
how you managed to creep up here like a mother
only to sneak lead under my tongue
and watch me swallow the chips from my teeth.

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