once my skull was a venetian vase.
i held lilies in the before-life
where everything was pooling with cream.
the sun was sugar & gummy-red.
great insects drank & the angels
sat at sewing machine desks
to make my teeth. sometimes i will
open my mouth to remember their craftsmenship.
i tell myself often i was constructed.
the thinnest nails. handfuls of clay.
a flock of ancient beings gathered
to shape my spirit into another body.
they picked me up like a bed sheet.
all the while, fishers of men
sat with their buckets on the edges
of clouds. i sometimes want to see
all the roots of my teeth.
hold them in my palm & walk
all around town. a ritual to summon
the before world again. everyone
is always talking about afterlife
but i want to take a shovel
& dig a way back. show me
the origins of my crooked
dreaming the field of root vegetables.
wishing the carrots were golden. leading back
into a cavefish grotto. sight falling
like lemons. i do not want to be
this tethered to my skull.
i want to open my mouth
& gather lilies like i once did
in the palace of a feathered god.
they work long into the darkness.
etching each tooth crevasse & fold.
it is not a toil to them
but a passion. some work on boar skulls
others snakes & other humans.
when a set is complete they whistle & stand.
a team circles them to inspect.
sometimes i still feel them
staring into my almost head.
that is when i spill. all the stem.
filling me with mouth. their instructions.
"bite down." hard enough to press teeth
into gums. hide them like headstones.
me, a soft little peach.
the vase full of roots.