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Teething

Forget all else I have told you.

There is no calm inside me,
no serenity
no silence.

I have told you
I have nothing more to say
but I do
I do
and it comes out
only in wails at myself
when I get away from you.

I have hidden what I am:
a teething child

snapping at tombstones
and bricks.

I have chewed a box of knives
down to their handles,

gnawed curbs and sidewalks
for the taste of the moss in their cracks
and the feet that tread them.

I have ground my teeth down
to a mouthful of grit
and bloody nubs of gum.

I polish the back of my throat
in swallows.

Even that brings no quiet.

Call a dentist, please
please please.
Build me
a new grin with pieces
of chalk.

I was born with
a blackboard tongue
that needs scrawls
bitten into it.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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