Susanna J. Sturgis    

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Persephone's Teeth

Persephone's teeth are crooked and gray
they have been for years
she'll fix them some day,
she says. Meanwhile she keeps
her mouth closed
like Demeter did before her

Persephone's teeth are crooked and gray
from biting into bad apples
from eating dirt
She hates them that way but hasn't
the money to fix them,
not till her ship comes in
Till then she won't speak

Persephone's teeth are crooked and gray
like a long-ago dam
words clog the sluices
and rot in their juices
like bile
She won't open her mouth
unless she's alone
and the mirror says her teeth
aren't straight and aren't white
so she turns out the light
but she won't turn away
from the teeth she can't see
She has nothing to say

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