I was born into this world sideways.
surgery, to break my face
set it right again
as if breaking were simple.
Wet places my lips have been:
all the boys I've kissed—
so many caves I've licked
saliva & sweat
holy water on my tongue.
I grind my teeth at night
wake to white sand in my mouth:
nocturnal silt, gritty loam.
My jaws pop when I talk
but if I had the surgery, went cosmetic?
Oh, the typewriter in my bones—
yes, I would miss that click/clack the most.
From I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood. Copyright © 2018 by Tiana Clark. Used with the permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.