Day 144 – The Dentist

The dentist opened my mouth and found
all these lies that I’d been hiding
inside my teeth like egg yolks bursting,
dripping falsehoods only whispered
now laid bare to clean tiles, white walls

He asked me do I find the pressure painful,
do I feel it throbbing in my ears at night-
I can’t eat truth or it will stain my reputation.
How can I swallow what I cannot bear to taste?

I lie because it’s easier
than finding the words to explain-
I lie and say I’m not angry
because I don’t know why I am.
I say that my honesty left me somehow
slipped away and I didn’t follow,
I didn’t try to get it back
but that’s just another tooth to pull,
another Vicodin to take

The truth is so much harder now,
a stone inside the womb, a diamond to cut
open old scars, to make each trip
with less and less air-
it takes a miracle of strength
to go back anymore

so I have lived without visiting those places
I’ve survived without eating that fruit
I’ve made a new life by filling cavities with lies
and pretending my smile is sincere

but the dentist knows, and God knows
it’s not


Year 2: Day 76 – I Promise

I promise I’m not always filled
with a lot of lie-down-and-die;
there are so many chrysanthemums
still alive at the plaza
because of me,
because of what I didn’t do.

I promise I’m not always
chasing rainbows,
that I do indeed pick dandelions
at the plaza
and they die.

And I promise I’m not always
at the plaza, either-
a lot of the time I’m buried deep
thinking about destroying and saying sorry,
but not all the time even doing that.

I promise I’m not ever lying
when I say two things that
couldn’t possibly both be true-
I promise I have never lied to you.