Here you are again sitting in between the crevice of the washing machine and dryer holding your breath to trick yourself into not crying while dinner is served in the next room. You thought you were done being eight years old crazy that was barely contained but these are the kinds of things that claw into you and never let go. You thought being open about the important stuff would teach you that people stay but they’ve been failing the tests over and over. You tell your grandmama before prayer that your mind keeps making noises that you can’t stop and that you had to hide while you tried to figure the hurt out and you fell for this girl fifteen times but you didn’t mean to but you can’t make it stop and you thought that this would be some kind of easing because she was who you planned to run to when the teacher found you in the bathroom with your pants pulled down underwear stained embarrassment and first grandmama looks at you like it’s your fault you can’t shut yourself up and you shouldtry harder second and changes the subject to every night I pray that you find a strong black man to love you third. and you realize that there was no one who would’ve saved you. Something explodes in you, you never know what exactly, and you excuse yourself and here you are again trying to stuff all the poison debris back down your throat, but black blood keeps bubbling back up. You ask for help because you can’t afford not to. Your dark unforgivable is getting all over the tile floor and you promised you wouldn’t stain their good furniture again. Calling mommy to rescue you feels coward even though someone’s gonna tell you it’s brave. But you know it’s not, cause just eight hours ago, you were trying to convince yourself that you could handle her loving you less, cause let’s face it: it’s bound to happen sooner and later. And you’re writing this to stop from slicing to impossible the scarring and you’re hoping this will turn damnation a little lighter but you don’t know what you’d do if it does. You don’t know how to treat yourself soft forgiveness because you still don’t believe you deserve it. You tell everyone you want to learn because most days you don’t want to die anymore but God, the dark would miss you, and you would have to unlearn monster without it. You know you’re supposed to be better by now but you can’t help but remember what you’re good for. At least, blood you know what to do with.
oh this is gonna hurt
or my baby teeth are scattered in the bedroom of the first house underneath the lavender paint job and in our bathroom under the dark blue sea walls
and! i didn’t know this until this morning but in the lie that i don’t think they realize is a lie of “i don’t know what they’re talking about. i had a great childhood.” one of my teeth is in the tongue i kept from speaking against that.
my baby teeth are in the forearm of my yesterday trying to bleed the pulse dry. my baby teeth are packed beneath the soil where i could make sure at least one part of me didn’t have to grow up too fast. my baby teeth are halfway across the world by now, knapsacks thrown over their shoulders looking for a better life my baby teeth were swallowed accidentally and purposefully necklaced around my graveyard heart my baby teeth are at the end of my question this lifelong journey of healing from trauma my baby teeth are not an answer just a fossil that serves no purpose but i carry the weight anyway. my baby teeth serve no purpose but i carry the wait anyway.
my baby teeth serve no
Alexis Smithers is a black nonbinary person who writes for Autostraddle. A 2015 Pink Door Fellow, 2016 LAMBDA LITERARY Emerging Young Adult Fiction Writing Fellow, and 2018 #GrowWithGoogle Web Development Scholarship recipient, they've performed their work at Busboys and Poets and West Hollywood Library. They have work published in wusgood.black, Glass: Poetry, Winter Tangerine and The BreakBeat Poets Volume Two: Black Girl Magic edited by Mahogany L. Browne, Jamila Woods, and Idrissa Simmonds, among others. While they try to escape the Big Five, you can find them at DangerLove12 on Twitter.