You remain

lodged in my teeth.

Too comfortable in that crease

between tongue and cheek,

and your foul taste is tangible,

plasters my palate

in peanut butter quarantine.


Stale cereal snarls –

your morning breath

inflames my gums,

your oven fumes

froth behind my lips,

gurgle back toward my lungs –

I inhale your off-putting,

and you consume me,

in dinner leftovers.


I try to scrape you with my pinky nail,

floss you from

my whole,

and still you

suck your tummy in tight

and hide between

toothbrush bristles —


a naughty child crouches in corn stalks,

scraped knees,

ignoring the third dinner call

as the sky grows dim

and the porch light flickers.