by Marilyn Melissa Salguero
People chew on words like dogs. Work at them until their teeth crack until whatever they bite bows down grinds into nothing but a hot, sticky exhale that once had a name until it becomes raw hides back in the throat.  I say Spit it out and yes, I am prying here. Reaching out a hand towards a snapping thing that is all gnashing teeth and backwards smile and I offer a taste of my blood  The boy looks at me and swallows furrows his brow and he  hesitates.  See,  I am asking the boy who does not know me to open up unhinge his jaw and place the bones from everybody he took from and lay it at my feet  I demand all of the words that never escaped past the porcelain border lining his gums all the raw and ripped up remains of a live thing turned leather suffocating &  still dripping a man gl  ed heartbeat off of his tongue.  He likes the taste of blood, I think.Likes the way he can bare his teeth and make everyone else think themselves a skeleton a meal stuck between his mercy likes how all his howling echoes in agreement off the concrete I expect that the bark will not be worse than the bite if I ask for it  So, I ask for it.  Ask him to give again and he calls me a Bitch.  it falls onto the floor between us  & I make him look at it,  see fear in his eyes when he remembers all the times he too was a body between someone else’s mouth how easily teeth sink break both our skins  & he remembers that he too is a bleeding thing he apologizes, places himself in the palm of my hand and I call him  a Good Boy.  See, who else but a bitch can teach a mad dog how to heel?

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