dirt between teeth

Ren Gay

I am always writing about the mouth

how it feels to chew, to bite down.

I am still waiting for the day I dream where all my teeth fall out.


We are here to embrace rot

I take the sugar water from the hummingbird feeders and carefully

paint each tooth before sleep


give way


to crumble

to fall inwards

to surrender


I swallow molars whole,

conjure the memory of tastes that have crossed my tongue.

Without the prairie grasses holding the earth in place

it crumbles.

Damming the river, muddying the water

until it looks red in the fading light.

REN GAY is a lesbian, autistic poet and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart prize. She is the author of the micro-chap The Hymenopterans (Ghost City Press 2021). Their work has appeared in journals such as trampset, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Laurel Review, Qu Literary, Gramma Poetry, FreezeRay Poetry, and others. She lives in Fargo, North Dakota with her two cats.