in my dreams i am missing teeth, i am clenching my jaw so tight that they
loosen, pop out and clatter onto the floor. in my dreams i press my bones, squeeze, and they
cede, shatter, disconnect like legos.
in my dreams the damage i do to myself is immediate and visible and acceptable and i am
naked in front of a group of people,
holding my broken body parts (my teeth clenched in my fist like loose change) and
there are puppies everywhere and i am clothed and they are licking my face and
looking at me with that expression (half apology/half pity) and whispering,
"well, what did you expect?"
and now my old babysitter is straddling my mouth and no one seems to care that i am
unclothed, vulnerable, missing vital parts of myself-
and suddenly i am in a familiar room
and it is morning
and her alarm is sounding,
i touch my lips to make sure that i am whole,
avoid hard food for the rest of the day.