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  2. He Has an Oral Fixation by Natalie Scenters-Zapico
He Has an Oral Fixation

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He can’t stop putting the dead
flowers, the deadhead nails, the deadweight
sacks of flour in his mouth. He can’t
stop writing about the mouth. The way

he woke up to his mouth full of bees,
their dead crunch still stinging
his gums. He writes: There’s something
beautiful in the way a mouth can be broken

by saliva and cold air. She broke
his mouth open and filled it with lead-
tainted earth. She made him
brain-dead through the mouth;

licked the honey she pulled
from his incisors like sap from a tree.
His mouth, with its stretch marks
running along his cheeks — she’s never seen

anything like it. His mouth a scar
of his hunger, a scar of his gluttony
after the hunger. Stop writing
about the mouth: the teeth, the gums,

the impacted tooth and its psychedelic
blues and greens. Stop writing how she bit
your mouth and with a blowtorch
welded its dark-open shut. Stop writing

about the mouth: the tongue, the holy
molars, the wear of grinding yourself
to bone. Stop writing about the mouth:
his mouth, your mouth, her mouth.

Source: Poetry (February 2017)
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He Has an Oral Fixation

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