i look for my fangs
in the roots & brush of the old trees.
mouth made into
punch bowl. candy dish.
i laid on my back & told everyone
to take their pick. dry fingers
& damp fingers. the woodpecker
& all of his children. who doesn't want
a relic of another? like in the middle ages
when they harvested bones & flesh
from the bodies of saints.
i am far from a saint. but i am a body.
i am a garden full of weeds & worms.
full of shards of glass
& a dead apple tree that bears
wedding rings & bells. i scavenge
in the knots. all i want is something
sharp enough to bite a hole
in the wall. escape paths. i curse myself
for all the ways i'm made myself
into a nesting ground for others
but never myself. i said to each
"here is a tooth." i could not
ask for them back so i needed
something new. fangs. if i have to
i will use pocket knives. i will
crawl on my belly with the snakes.
rattle for a heart. i am trying to blame
those who took my teeth. to be precious
is to come piecemeal. i know
i was never whole. i do not need to be.
the fangs come delivered by a hoard
of ants who just stripped a fox skull.
wiping their mouths. two sharp points of light.
i lift them into my skull. marvel at them
in my reflection in the dark lake.
stars like freckles across my cheeks.
the ghost of the animal makes me promise
to keep these in my skull. i tell her, " i will try."