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

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Day 137 – Silence

there is a cosmos in our silence;

to sit quiet with you is better
than speaking for hours
with anyone else

the world, pressing for content,
turning thought to data to excess,
a machine of produced community,
forgets to earn,
forgets how to guess

and we, in silence, auction off our places in the race,
buy back our costly solitude
to break in half and share

we are worth more than
what comes out of our mouths

Blood Tide

You open your mouth
and the blood tide rolls your heart
out over the kitchen tiles,
a rubber mockery of all those shameful times
you’ve done this before.

You hoped this time
that someone would bring a bucket,
you can’t be trusted with this,
the horrors you unleash, you splash on linoleum,
bowl full of innocent fruit.

You stare, cough uncontrollably,
melt in a heap for less than a minute,
apologize frantically,
look what a mess you’ve made, what a terror you’ve brought
but you’re up

on your knees all hours of the night,
breathing haze from your bottle of bleach.