Teeth

Alex Dunton

Two crooked teeth crossing over making pinkie promises
That’s what we are
We sanded down each other’s fangs to hide the evidence of the scars
Your hands in my sick mouth
Mine in yours
In sickness and in health we crawl down each other’s throats
Marriage is a sham tied with your sister’s stolen rings and a text posted from our too short childhood
Scribbled on Doc Martens and untied Converse making footprints along our necks
One day we will shave off those scraggly hairs at the nape of your neck
But today I do it for you watch my hair swirl in the sink
The yells are less bad knowing they aren’t for you
One day they will be though – that brings me some sort of joy
An amalgamation of joy at least
The draw of a cigarette smooshed into a childhood toy I never wanted
Next to yesterday’s stolen beer can – don’t worry they didn’t see it yet
They never do
Neither do you – but you know and that’s enough
Two crooked teeth shivering in the mask of a hug
Two urns filled with the dust of our baby teeth
Patroclus and Achilles – with chewed hoodie strings and train track braces
I never knew you when you had preschool bleeding gums
But I know you now
Dying slowly with you
Breaths mingling on your rooftop graveyard
You hate mint – I threw the Polos to the ground my breath smells like death now – ironic
There’s blood in my mouth now and words stuck in yours
As we rip up the dresses of the storybook girls
And suck the rain out of the sky that hangs on hunched backs
The marks of netball trainers and hockey sticks beat us down
But – I grab your pinkie in the rain
It’s not enough for me or you
But we can ignore our swallowed teeth for now
Wipe the trickling blood with our embrace
Pinkies in the place of teeth
A casual breakdown crossing the lines of lineage
You and me –
Two crooked teeth crossing over making pinkie promises