Teeth | Teen Ink


November 1, 2018
By poeticflame BRONZE, Lemont, Illinois
poeticflame BRONZE, Lemont, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

When worldly weights weigh

my paper thin shoulders down

And concerns of a million myriads rush

into my still developing brain

Instead of freeing emotions healthily—

sewing swimming singing

— my teeth take the fall.

They punch together

Row crushes row

Clenched tight as the memories flood in.

I can still feel the hair on Your arms

Your aged arms on my back left marks through my clothes--

and an “innocent hug”

trudged to the sink and scaldingly scrubbed You off

hands pink with defeat at my resilience.

Knowing You’d be there every day

burning anguish at having to respect You

despite how horribly wrong You are.

Head spins dizzy with seeping discomfort

and a flinch You only can bring me

accompanied by my squeezing

legs into one leg

so tight nothing can get through.

I am safe.

So, collide, my teeth.

Grind like tectonic plates

Puzzle pieces that don’t fit

Hands that can’t sit still.

They tell you put down the blades—

And though I’ve never picked one up—

This silent resilience of pressed teeth

feels just as self demeaning.

You are the enemy

And the wall I have built is

two rows of teeth strong.

If I don’t let words

escape through this wall

it has to be strong enough

to keep You out too.

The dentist says

I need to stop grinding my teeth.

The author's comments:

The "You" in this piece is out of my life and has been reprimanded for his behavior. It's a scary world out there, stay safe.

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