goddess in forced repose

proper speech requires sharp teeth. the trick is to not make the sharpening process lengthier than it needs to be, especially with your condition. lay out your expectations. do you intend to smile while you speak today? put more time into polishing as you sharpen. do you have a couch date with your soul-bonded lover of five ages? neatly round the points. but

some days your body is swollen with fog that settles heavy in the unused chamber of your heart. the tooth-file rests untouched at the bottom of a bathroom drawer.

you write this as a confessional on your blog accompanied by pictures of your blunted new-grown teeth and hope your mortal admirers will understand your absence. ask them if they are conscious of the weight of their bodies, if they ever list to one side and take on water. ask them to remember when you were endangered by a nightmare wherein the sword under your pillow pointed where it wanted. dream you have broken your wrist and wake to find it stiff and clotted with roses. make a note to later deliver bouquets to the devout. sleep again. the third row of teeth sheds fastest. their replacements are gestating pain in the gums.

a pile of enamel at your bedside is proof of how your body leaves itself behind. you wake with your cheek in cooled saliva and a mouthful of sleep sheddings. you spit them out, adding to the pile, and turn over. the memory foam rejects your shape.

Tamara Jerée

Tamara Jerée is a former military brat who has lost track of where home is. They are an editor for Sycamore Review and Luna Station Quarterly, and their work has appeared in Strange Horizons. You can find them on Twitter at @TamaraJeree.

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