But what of a woman
without canines. One who has lost
the muscle of molars. Prisoner to a bite
that only knows: run.

Inside this mouth I was once wolf.

Now only a dress of pink
shriveled gums that whisper:

Excuse me. Not here.
I’m not even here.

The small death of letting
go. And rest is a four letter word
with a shallow grave. Every morning
I’m a shovel of knees, every night
an earthworm of goodbyes.
Lifting from soil.

This is the dirt
of never coming home

I can remember
when the first tooth fell

The first time I monstered
or womaned

and someone was there
to watch.

Maybe I’m whatever evil you want
to name me. Maybe I’m not
the tooth.
But the empty space

I tongue into small coffins

when there is no more
to chew.

Kelly Grace Thomas