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Toothless Man This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Toothless man,
penniless person,
puts on his coat every morning
and washes his name off of milky resurrections.
Army of the blue under his skin
he treats himself like sin,
fading under a daylight moon-
muted by the passerby
who told him it was “for the best”.
He’s a flicker flame,
with someone else’s smoke in his clothes..
oxygen deprived,
he holds hollow pillows
tight against a wanting chest,
body nearly snuffed like a keepsake.
Humble bone.
Dead bone:
In the passerby’s eyes,
capped sideways, a sinking ship into the gutter,
someone else will burn his bed for warmth.
Tuckered out just enough
that the children can feel safe
skipping through the streets,
he unwraps his hands
and feels his face with a whimper…
Nobody is really ever who they say they are,
except for the toothless man.

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