Tongue With Teeth

Unnerving, the shell. Perhaps
terrible, the broad, muscular

foot, my legume of possibility, my knot of protein anchored
in a soup. Just a plain soup. I admire

your rough limbs arranged in a torical
dwelling-place, but I am a bivalve only through my mother
and I owe her my shell. I love my pearl

silently, ensconced
in a draft of a person. I can’t wait to be
a fossil, so my life can truly begin. I bring my mouth

close to twilight. I bring my mouth close
to dawn. I mollusk around. I snail my way across
time. I oyster myself to one name, then

another, then back to the first one. I swallow crepuscular
geometries, contorting myself as
I must, must somersault the universe

into being around me because someone
has to and I don’t see anyone else
volunteering. Unnerving, the ocean, perhaps

terrible, its dismal appearance,
its reek, its saturated growth salts, its fish
category, its pastiche. So

derivative. Let me direct you
to the exit: here is the ear.
Here is the apex

of the heart. Here is a fistful of ashes
for you to turn into ferns.

Audra Puchalski lives in Oakland, California, USA. She is the author of a chapbook, Queer Hagiographies, and her poems have been published in Bat City Review, Cotton Xenomorph, Cutbank Online, and others. 

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