Cavity by Hanna Lauerman

One thing I miss is
losing teeth. It tasted good
somehow. Did you like to yank
it out as soon as it wiggled?
I always waited until it hung
by a thread, so a nudge
of my tongue set it clacking
against its neighbors
in my mouth. Dangling
enough I could twist it
to feel the warm throb
of dying nerve.

After, there was the
tender spit-flooded gap,
impossible to keep my tongue
off, somehow tasting
so much more raw and alive
than the rest of my own mouth.

Now that I’m older, it isn’t so easy
to grow a pearl alongside my body
and then rip it away,

to bury it under a pillow or in a
velvet pouch in the lowest
layer of the jewelry box,

to let something stronger
grow in its place.


Hanna Lauerman writes both poetry and fiction and has been published in Longleaf Review, Folklore, and Grlsquash. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Best American Short Stories anthology. She lives in Boston with her supportive girlfriend and unsupportive cat.

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