i wove you a blanket from my hair,
placed the nail I peeled from my ring finger
in the cracks of your palm.
you gave me some violet
polish to hide the scar and it chipped
in my mouth when i reached in for the wisdom
tooth you wanted to wear as a necklace.

you gave me toothpaste to cover
the smell of rot coating my words
when i asked you to love me. i opened
my gaping hole, told you take more
ivory trophies, peel the hangnail from my thumb
to my elbow, please use this ribbon
to adorn yourself.

like sunburnt flakes on my shoulder
i disintegrated without notice or pain.
unraveled all of me to let you taste
underneath, but you told me the heart lacks
piquancy and when i asked for warmth
to shield my skeletal exhibition, you offered
only eyelashes and air.

you’ll say there is no room
for the pieces of me you’ve collected.
you’d rather leave
them behind, no one cares about the bones of their old homes.

so i will try to glue back the nail to my bed, try
to restring my head while my tooth
and wisdom grow back roots.

I see you now, mouth full and body complete.
I have nothing of you to return.

Kyra Ungerleider studied Neuroscience and Creative Writing at The Ohio State University. She is now living in the United Kingdom, where she attends the University of Cambridge for her PhD in Neuroscience.

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