The taste is ritualistic:

Peeling off your jacket. Cradling
white-fleshed language 

like distilled liquor
parting father’s cracked lips.

Sinking a tooth
into grime and hoping

to consume what pain
has not taken from you.

Two fingers jabbed in the jam jar —
Maybe I will make a home out of this,
you say.

You cast anatomy from cherry trees —
use it as the crinkled suit 

you hastily throw on
for your first day at work.

While at your desk,
you cave your thin-pricked

chin into your chest
until you have made

a poem out of concavity.
Then, you mar your bottom lip

and stretch it into an elegy.
When you come home,

the train rail paring
the scab on your elbow,

you knead patience
among the pleated sheets
like thickened dough —

as if it could render
your mouth malleable.

That evening,
you soak in hushed prayer

and milk your knees
in a tawny pail.

Maybe I will make a home out of this,
you say.

Brittany Adames is a Dominican-American writer. Her work has been previously published in CALAMITY Magazine, Bombus Press, Blue Marble Review, TRACK//FOUR, and Rust+Moth, among others. She is pursuing a major in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College and currently serves as the poetry editor for Concrete Literary Magazine. She has been regionally and nationally recognized by the Scholastic Writing Awards.