Sunday, May 21, 2017

Teeth - a poem

I used to have really nice teeth
I brushed them every day,
They were straight, never needed braces.

I went to the dentist the other day,
And I have four cavities.

You aren't supposed to brush your teeth
After throwing up
The acid gets rubbed into your teeth
And eats away at your enamel

So when I started throwing up
I had to stop brushing my teeth.

Now this may sound disgusting
But there are way grosser parts
To bulimia then the lack of tooth brushing

Like the time I hid
A garbage bag of puke
In my closet for a week
Waiting for garbage day.

Like the time I woke up
Lying in vomit
Because I passed out in the
Middle of throwing up.

But I digress.

I just wanted to be perfect
Be in control, on top of the world,
Not dependent on any need
I followed the rules in the
Eating disorder handbook like
Drinking coffee when I was hungry
Letting the acidity erode my enamel
Turning my bright white teeth yellow

I cared more about the space between my thighs
Then the holes in my mouth

The bacteria acted slowly but
The holes in my teeth
Are just like the hole
In my soul
From the first time I hailed
The porcelaine throne

I wish I could say something
Nice about myself, but isn't this all my fault
I put the gun in my mouth
Too scared to pull the trigger
Not scared enough to stop it from sliding down
My throat became a home for my right hand

Like it was searching for something
Reaching down into a wishing well
Grasping at perfection so recklessly
You fall down the rabbit hole

To the land where less is more
Where you spend more time in the bathroom
Then you do in your bed

I used to smile and laugh unapologetically
Now I face my mirror with wet eyes
And puffy cheeks
Spitting out the remains of what I ate that day
Not brushing my teeth but staring
At the pale yellow bones coming out of my mouth.

I don't recognize myself anymore

I think that when that first cavity formed
I didn't lose a piece of tooth
But I piece of myself

I wonder how much longer,
My body can stand
How ling it will take for my
Teeth to fall out, like my hair does in clumps.

Most of me is scared
But part of me is hopeful
You can't eat if you don't have any teeth
No need to pick up the gun if there's nothing to kill
You can't drown in an empty well

I look back at the picture of me
In middle school, smiling brace free
Beside my friends with crooked teeth.
My mom relieved she didn't have to pay
For an orthodontist
We have perfect teeth in this family she said.

Perfect teeth
Perfect perfect teeth
Perfect straight teeth
Perfect white teeth

Slowly stabbed by a dagger
Made of my skin
Choking on the metallic taste
Coughing up blood

Perfect teeth
Perfect perfect teeth
Perfect straight teeth
Perfect white teeth

Stained by the pain
Of my heart giving out
I can control the gun
But not what it does

Perfect teeth
Perfect perfect teeth
Perfect straight teeth
Perfect white teeth

I lost what was good
By fixing the rest

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