Surgeons & Squealers

“I want a mouth transplant.”

From the left-behind baby teeth
and too-large tongue
it all feels cramped; misaligned; unsuitable
for chewing, swallowing. And saying regrettable things
that cannot fit back inside

she doodles oversized O-mouths
on hinge-jaw, pelican-style yappers
that scoop up salty fish and alimony money
where there’s space
to grind down big molars
taking away the tripwires inside her

Then, uncluttered and new,
she adds shocking turquoise enamel
scaring the neighborhood gasbags
from ever peeking again
watching for
the precise moment
a lie is born
curling and forming
behind a permanent retainer
then snaking around silver fillings
from the first Clinton era

“No one is a metal-mouth anymore,”
her oral surgeon, slack-jawed and wild
tells her one fall check-up
before the parking lot geese fly south
to tattle to her second husband
about insurance fraud:
“Unnecessary mouth-mansion upgrades!”

“We must remove it all!”
the surgeon shouts over the geese
beating at his paned window
then taps and zaps
her chewers and swallower
like a workshop
for Do-It-Yourselfers
who hope for fast equity
on the next downpayment

Kimberly Sailor, Mount Horeb, WI, is a 2019 Hal Prize finalist in poetry, with poems also appearing in Sixfold and The Bookends Review. She is the author of the novel The Clarinet Whale. Sailor is the current editor-in-chief of the Recorded A Cappella Review Board, and holds a publicly elected seat on her local Board of Education.

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