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Closed Mouth

Throat too sore from breathing in the rain. In fact, it feels like I’ve swallowed a bunch of broken teeth. “Leave already, mother, something needs to happen.” Luggage stacked in rows like body bags on TV. But no American Flags for us, we don’t even know our own names.


“Bathing suits,” says the b****, back when her name is only half-accurate. She knew all along and thought I couldn’t tell. “We need bathing suits. He needs to see you.”
“I didn’t bring one.” Throat not sore enough to boycott illegal scheming.
See, I have this problem where sometimes I just mean to exhale but some words fall out too. I chew on my lips whenever I have a question so there are tons of little cracks and escape routes; my mouth can never be airtight.
The b**** always had elastic lips. They were too tight, bled often. “I guess you’ll have to go swimming without one then.”
Even the b****—with her snow white organs— could use her needle fingers to weave sex when it would make her look correct. She told me that she wanted to be a surgeon at least once a day. All I ever heard was “fortune teller”.
But I foresee his handprints on my flat brown stomach. It’s a pride-inducing stomach, almost makes up for my face. “I guess that’s what I’ll have to do.”


Smashing Pumpkins told me that the universe is full of black holes and anniversary nights. This car will be one of those.


I am too young to know Portland turns to nothing if you drive by it in the rain, going fast enough. Vanishes completely, in fact, nothing by wet light in its place. No wonder I feel bloodless and missing. I’m floating at seventy miles per hour.


Yet for miles, we can’t seem to collide. I think it has something to do with the fact that there are molars in my trachea and canine splinters in between my vocal chords. I don’t even know my own name, so how can you? I am bloodless and missing. You will only see me if I push myself into your eardrums and my throat is too sore from breathing in the rain.


Ellen is brave enough to have short hair. She says: “Just fall asleep. Closed eyes. Closed mouth. Close your mouth, for god’s sake, just for once close your mouth.”
The b**** takes her needle fingers and sews my lips while in the front seats Alice and Oedipus talk about politics. Who needs suicide bombers when I’ve plenty of corporate greed right under my fingernails? She’s always wanted to close me up like a Ziploc bag. She tells me at least once a day that she wants to be a surgeon. All I ever hear is “fortune teller”.


In The Bourne Identity Jason Bourne cuts off all of the obnoxious British woman’s hair and then kisses her onto the floor. They roll around like animals in the pile of hair. It’s red. Casually, a comment about how your heart is a sponge. The trees look like smoke. I cough. Throat too sore from breathing in the rain. I’m allergic to nicotine and self-alteration.


The b**** is wearing purple rain boots. Does she drink breast milk?


Encouragements from the entire population, from Ellen, brave enough to have short hair. Dark matter and wormholes push me inward. The world’s sharpest shoulder collides with my shoulder. A twelve on the Richter scale. Fifteen volcanos get born. Big hands can never stay folded for long.


Smashing Pumpkins told me that the universe is full of black holes and anniversary nights. This car is one of those.


Nail marks on my arm because he won’t let sharp corners wake me up. Even though he knows I’m not sleeping. Little girls were designed to misread aggression as effervescence.


In a dream once, Ellen gave you a funeral in a greenhouse and for once her operatic head seemed appropriate on her taciturn frame. Now she’s telling me: “he looks happier than he has in a long time.”


The most talented fingers in the whole world want to play piano while I sang an old song about being lonely. They want to navigate my ribcage and interpret my spine as I sleep. I’m floating at seventy miles per hour.


“Meet me at the pool in the morning.” He’d talked first to the b****; she made it clear that I had no bathing suit. No extra clothes, either. Her snow white organs, full of breast milk.
Throat not sore enough to boycott illegal scheming. “Five in the morning.”
I foresee his handprints on my flat brown stomach.


I sleep through the alarm.



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