my mouth be a reminder,
how salt-water suppose to stop the tongue from swelling,
how teeth be bones too,
how my voice sounds of a needed haunting.
if this body be a land,
it’s language be howl & debris.
a blood-letting from my gums, naming each rotting cavity
a body outside itself.
how can a barren mouth drown in its own saliva?
ain’t there a harvest at the tip of my tongue?
if i fix my lips to speak themselves free,
allow my voice to break in riot,
be vocabulary barreling through a nation’s mourning,
be a vernacular of bullets coming for the back
of your throat.
jayy dodd is a blxk question mark from los angeles, california– now based on the internet. they are a professional writer & literary editor. their work has appeared / will appear in Lambda Literary, The Establishment, Assaracus, Winter Tangerine, Guernica, & Yes,Poetry, among others. they’re the author of [sugar in the tank] (Pizza Pi Press 2016) & Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press 2017). they are a Pushcart Prize & Bettering American Poetry nominee; their work has been featured on Lit Hub, Teen Vogue, & Entropy. find them talking trash or taking a selfie @ jayydodd.net