wisdom tooth blues

you have the same mating call as death & you’re both hitchhikers. this goldenrod
road a moat. a separation from home, even as it leads there.

i’ve been that girl in the driver’s seat,
with a cricket in her ear canal. i’ve had antlers
& horns, all types of exposed bone except those
that speak to weakness.

you brush your teeth more often than the shadows shift. bringing, everywhere, this toad
body, this slug tongue: guts, gullet, gimlets. i recall your old songs, that keening to filth,
or to belonging. a red mud that makes amphibians indistinguishable.

what’s a pearl necklace? polishable, always? not strong enough
to suspend a talisman, an anvil.

if you were a serpent you’d slither
into your ex-loves’ mouths. down past the uvula. don’t say
you wouldn’t. i’ve been in their mouths,
i’ve been death once. so i know.

a pearl necklace is heaven on gums. a pearl necklace is what you’d choke on
if you listened harder to your own cries; down your throat
or around.

where along the highway
can you ensure cleanliness. sunset & sunrise
seem identical: wet laundry
unseparated, the reds turned pink, the blues.

i’m telling you the soul
in all its parts is human
except one. was it the extra gland,
the lack of voicebox? what’s a pearl necklace?
if broken,
            a path?

Sophie Crocker is a writer and performance artist based on stolen Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ land. Their previous and forthcoming publications include Best Canadian Poetry 2022, The Fiddlehead, PRISM International, and elsewhere. Their debut poetry collection, brat (Gordon Hill Press) is out in fall 2022. Follow them on Twitter @goblinpuck and visit: sophiecrocker.com