Too Much Rum Dream

my mother wants me to pull out her teeth   put them
in a bag   white house with shuttered windows
a bee died in the raw pink of my left foot   bury
them beneath the hip roots of grandma’s big willow tree

what did you do to them?   mom?   those gray and yellow teeth
you hate hammers   hate anything that sounds like a doorslam
anything that sounds like a cold dry old man hard slap
anything that can split open your reed-thin fingers

you must have ground them up on countless bottles
you must have gnawed them on dad’s wrist bone   you…   you
must have painted them in pale sugar and long opioid chains
of chemicals that bliss out the bad memories of california

i stand on a wicker chair that rattles and you beg me to take your
teeth and hide them   they sink hard   dull blades in your wilted cat
paw of a hand and you cry and you say take the pliers from the drawer
please please please so many years of a broken heart rot the stubborn

enamel   rot the stubborn tendrils   rot the soft gums   god mom what
are you doing with your arms?   your triceps flap with something
like optimism and maybe you’ll fly if you’re unburdened with the awful
weight of mocking teeth   i look to my left pocket and the fifty-cent pen i

carry has snapped in half   the black ink tangles up all the red hairs on my
leg   there is no paper to drain the blood-ink onto   there is no paper to write
your name and tell you to keep your teeth   mom   Amy   please   i can’t carry
those grey shards   please   close your mouth   and those teeth

 

Connor Simons is a poet and translator who currently studies Literature and Poetics at Central Washington University. He has lived in the Pacific Northwest his entire life. His poems and translations have appeared in The Santa Clara Review, Manastash Literary Journal, and Adelaide Literary Journal.