I hate my teeth. They constantly remind me what I cannot do, but so desperately wish I could. A currency that has been depreciated of all hope of achieving harmony, waiting to be buried in the dirt.
They are not white nor sharp; they are a sigil of my worthlessness. Raw and dirty from years of neglect and consumption. A weapon, only as strong as its wielder. Forgone in the mouth of a tired fool.
Large protruding fangs once oversaw and led the others. Generals of a forgotten and disordered rebellion; unfit for this world’s hard conviction. Discriminated against for their brandished defection they were removed from their post; forced to stand in line, disciplined into perfect order.
After the war, through the trenches came the machines, bringing peace and order through metal and pain. The maw—ashamed of what it had become—would force itself shut. For if left unsupervised, the metal wires that pulled and tugged and whipped were overzealous to show off their tortuous madness.
At the end of the regime, these depraved prisoners no longer feared blood, instead they thirsted for it. They yearned for the metallic taste of lacerated gums and whined to be strangled, to be beaten. Their pleas left ignored leaving them stranded and starving for help.
What is left of my lips is a desolate no man’s land; the remnants of a battlefield. Only now small sprouts rise from the disrupted soil. The roots unattended, dig deep into my swollen gums. I do not neglect my teeth in an act of vile consciousness, but because I have all the time in the world and yet none of it seems to be mine.
Still, in this abjection.
I will smile in the face of life’s mountain and peer over the edge for all to see my grin of yellow.
Dillon (they/them) is a writer, director and film-maker. Currently (taking a little break from) studying a bachelor of film and television and working as part of ACMI’s media production team. Infatuated with all things queer, philosophical and cannibalistic; they attempt to express their existential dread through interpersonal writing.