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Teeth

by Jennifer Parkhill 3 months ago in inspirational
Runner-Up in From Across the Room ChallengeRunner-Up in From Across the Room Challenge
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One day, one day, you. One day, I fall so hard I crack my head. Love that knocks your teeth out.

Somehow

Somehow

I take in air

un-see-able something

filling insides

breath. why do we need

you. what do the plants

need? Something

i forgot

from biology class

a thirteen year old

face down

chipped desk

chair attached

puddle of drool

a place to rest

my bed

a different place

sheets for sealing

secrets. anatomy

I didn’t know

I owned

fuzzy bodies

a TV/VCR combo

I wanted to know

what touch made

my ass groped

in the hallway

pushing past

lockers

eyes fixed

on shoes. I didn’t

even dream

you then.

Chlorophyll.

is that what

plants need?

the sweetness

of female

sleeping be

side me

friend. in

timacy like a mist

I couldn’t get

my hands around.

tender kisses

gentle practice

for the chapped

mouths of boys

with cheetos

in their teeth

8th grade

a hotel room

16 girls with curl-

ers in their hair

dutifully fluffing

pom poms

on the floor

but no one cared

if we won

we left glitter-

coated kisses

on the window

overlooking Seaworld

mouths puckered

for someone

we didn’t know

yet

we thought

we were funny

running naked

through halls

tripping

over discarded

room service. little

fingers pressing

the button

for the el

evator

ding.

doors opening

to a man

in a suit

bewildered

by a huddle

of pinky

flesh. brand new

tits. untouched

ass. we shrieked

but felt no shame

we didn’t know

what shame was

yet

freedom

in lightweight

frames

we lay three

to a bed

listening to TLC

repeat

on the boombox

what was sleep

wanting to touch

those lips

again

something in

my hips

whispering

one day

one day

one day

you

one day

i fall so hard

i crack my head

and flowers fly out

start melting in air

the craziest thing

a thing that can’t

be believed

with eyes

love that knocks

your teeth out

a seventeen

year old

on a scooter

crush like fire

looked and saw

my life.

April. a spring

spools of film

spilling out

of our ribs

our thighs

fear that blinds.

I lost my

step

lost my

self

you.

trying to make

a life

That meant

I could keep—

most times

i can’t remember

if I’m real

are you?

easy

easy

easy

sliding

into the bed

room with the red

light. trying to for

get. i left my shame

outside

this time.

my mind a miss

fire. like somehow

somewhere

in New York

some slip

of meta

physics you were feel

ing the pleasure

i was giving

her. squint

and pretend

but she isn’t.

no one is.

i threw some pennies

in a fountain

and wished

for your bliss

i meant my wishes

bugs flying around

leaves swinging

in the breeze

and thought

May be

i would like

to be a tree

rooted in earth

beside another

no.

it’s in the choosing

to stay. drought

and down

pour

that

makes

all

the

difference.

i’d cut my arms off

to be able

to fall into our bed

then i’d have nothing

to hold

you with

and this

is just

the riddle. sun

water soil

put those in

my lungs

i don’t become

a tree

i breath

air like hu

man beings are

wont to do.

and air can’t

be the only

invisible—

we need.

if tree

has need

for water he

is a scream

in search

of a mouth.

that scream

in me

looking

for a way—

my hips

whispering

one day

one day

one day

you.

and if i never

i’ll remember

i’ll remember

i’ll remember

inspirational

About the author

Jennifer Parkhill

Jennifer Parkhill is a first generation Cuban-American artist and proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. She received her BFA in Drama with minors in Creative Writing and Film Production from the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.

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