It Means You Can’t Speak


At least Midas could talk.
No nourishment in the gold he ate,
but he could curse his gods as he starved.

Have you ever eaten with gum in your mouth?
Tried to swallow without dislodging the secret
tucked in your cheek?

The king asked for his golden touch.
I was repaid with bad blessings
for my kindness to a fairy.

The day my daughter was born, I screamed sapphires
and cracked my teeth.
The first kiss I gave her left blood on her skin and
lavender scattered across her swaddling clothes.

Later, my husband had my broken incisors replaced
with the moonstones he collected on our wedding night.

At lunch last week, my sister swept an armful
of diamonds and daisies into her purse,
then insisted the meal was on her.

What does it mean when pearls and roses
fall out every time you open your mouth?

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