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Eye Can See by Adrian Gibson

allegory deferred by Lynn Kong

Elderly white thread,

teeth and strands of soul:

Grandmother’s hands are crumpled

like youth’s pink silk dress, like

the roof of my mouth when I was

born as a lump of clay, virgin

to bruise and doubt’s edge—

gums bared to verity.

She ties a slender noose—

milky and knitted with exile—

and drapes it around my tooth,

where frailty clasps earth and

rustles somewhat. How is it that I

wish so much to be unscathed?

I clutch at violation, sucking rue

and the dross of parched mirrors.

But I cannot give it up,

that tooth. I am still so infantile.

Someday, when bubonic fragility

melds with grace unmired, there will be

a wonder akin to that graveyard

odyssey wherein all false

selves are discarded like

the teeth of one’s childhood.

Tongue prods void and rests.

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