A mouth full
of mnemonic words, part of
my body now.

I had that dream again,
the sudden anxiety, vulnerability,
where my mouth falls apart
and there’s nothing to say worth being heard.
All the poems, all the stories,
picked apart for consistent meaning, I know
I’m dreaming, the recurrence is so frequent.
Something missing or imperfect in
the design will catch attention
and get me back on the ground.

A mantra repeated to still the mind,
I lock a mentor’s words of advice in my jaw.
As a fortune cookie savored, sweet, crunchy,
I consume each syllable until I am full
with their assurance,
nothing I’ve written is without meaning
even when
we know these things to mean nothing,
expecting to go unnoticed, the moment,
the artifice of feigned sincerity.
Stories like nightmares are lies.
The poetics like Latin derive from romance.
Like a mantra I repeat, the meaning
is mine.

The ballerina breaks her toes to pointe,
the writer lays awake at night masticating
for hours, I stared at the wall thinking
about the dream and all the subconscious
things that could be grinding away my sleep,
I thought about the way certain words
worked to shape my world into one worth
smiling in. Even when
the twist lands sideways
or the reader is lost,
the creation of a lie is a form of processing
a truth buried in the subconscious
by blowing it up into something absurd.
If my teeth fall out, I’ll wake up
with a mouth full of anatomic words.

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