MOTHER PLUCKS BABY TEETH FROM MY MOUTH IN OLIVE GARDEN by ALEXIS BATES

uprooted
at the bar

mother takes a napkin that held
silverware / now holds tooth

blood mixes with
tomato sauce

tongue the gummy space
that used to hold bone

smile is
unbalanced

mother says I can have dessert
if I let her take the other out

it is not time / but I let her
so I can have cake

front teeth gone
smiling does not come easy


Alexis Bates is an emerging poet and writer that forces people to reflect on how they relate to topics such as self-perception and mental illness. You can read her work in Boston Accent Lit, The Passed Note, Rising Phoenix Review and elsewhere. She has chapbooks forthcoming from Varsity Goth Press, Luminosity Press (an imprint of Firefly Magazine), and Ghost City Press.
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