To an Old Toothbrush

Dear Toothbrush


You are the beginning and the end of my time as a functional human being. You remove any traces of the person I was last night, the shaking, cracking mass of bones with a super-terrestrial emptiness. You remove the shallow compliments that stick as I say them through closed teeth.

You make my teeth as white as the 6 o’clock news, a reminder that my features will never be European enough to be truly loved. Mint cannot erase the acetone eroded teeth of a disorder, cannot satisfy an itch, something like insectile dysfunction.

Men ride ignorance like a damned stallion, kicking in the windows of the parked cars of the girls who dared to refuse. Toothbrush, you are the one that removed sickening strawberry sweet advances. I leave with a mouth full of templated replies and the feeling of tearing the tired night a new one. You feel like rancid meats rotten rainbow, you are a dread that dries a smile like paint. No amount of teeth brushing, scrubbing, scouring, bleaching, or showering could remove the feeling of unwarranted services.

Vomit o’clock and I pry the chipboard off the canisters of old memories, his voice carrying over my remedial frequencies through a fuzzy evening glow, “you will never be whole.” My mind is alive like frostbite, like bellicose adrenaline, pining the rhinestone shine of lost narcotism. How can you stop your brain from illuminating like a scoreboard everytime someone casually mentions food? Bathroom scales are a pastime, mint covering the astringency of the contents of my own stomach is the everyday flavor; I used to pack a lunchbox with floss and teeth whitening strips.

My bandages have prematurely rendered me a maypole. You cannot turn the machine tooled aesthetics of starvation into a movie montage; I cannot shop myself to transformation. It will break into my ballerina box, will chew the jewels from their semiprecious sockets, set

them pulsing in my frontal lobe. The sky is pasteurized with thunder. My heart has a headache.

An overused toothbrush is no good to anyone. Drink a raw egg. Or Clorox. It’s up to you.

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