The slice of my mouth has been rent ragged as a torn banner of surrender,
pursed like two tectonic plates rutting together to birth earthquakes
the acrid, addictive tang of salt, sweat, a coppery rust
that speaks secrets
apple-seed bitter and hissing like snakes
against the corners of my smile (was it a smile, today?),
A littany of hemoglobin rasps that fill in the cracks of my crumbling lips like
Licking away at the staining tastes of the sea, of the dark and quiet before storms,
and turns my tongue the shade of cherries
you only find in the saturation filters for nostalgic romantic films.
I trace idle patterns across the twin crescent moons of my dentition, mapping half-remembered fever dreams of Mozart and Wagner out with bendy straws and the ends of fork tines,
tasting blandness from bright plastics, a ghost of blood in the metal of old silverware.
My skin is pockmarked