My mouth wears slippers.
My tongue is the knot on my robe,
fastened to hide my naked words. Sometimes
my best side slips out, but it was an accident,
like the burn on my roof from that cigarette.
And I lick the ashtray like soft serve
My mouth wears sneakers
My tongue is the dust I leave behind.
I don’t want to win, I only want to get the race
over with, but comfort is friction.
Bleeding through my socks for fun
As if the blisters were inevitable.
My mouth wears stilettos
My tongue is the dagger at my heel
Standing on higher ground. Doesn’t matter
that I can’t run when I look so good falling,
and standing again. Like the trick flames
combusting before the thunder
My mouth wears glass slippers
My tongue promenades across the ballroom
among women lost behind their red shoes
while I am all exposed and trailing blood
along the stairwell, collapsing into rotten flesh
as if it were satin, only it’s better than that.
My mouth undresses, presses its sole
to the earth, and sighs.
Nicole Cosme, RI, USA