Losing Teeth

In the naked bulb light, your shielding shoulder doesn't hide
your reflection's study of its teeth,
apprehensive, the close-clinging film
a death sentence and now

whimsically, your flowered hair like seaweed
over my upturned face, brushing the blanket
copper-stained & electric, & your voice
oakly shadowed and plastic
like you practice

& my mouth is too stuffed to say
what I want, so instead I offer a smile
and the fishing hook in my lip and a wish
that you hadn't asked me to be your doll,
fluffed by petticoats and beestung lips, to be kept
in the living room, in the dentist's chair

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