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seven hills, seven teeth

by genny ansong

gnaw your knuckles

like the cold slugger

you were meant to be—

wrought like dirt, writhed as the forest green twines

sprouting from

Mother’s hollow chest;

she used to be

your nirvana

before your

thirteenth birthday. 

you want to put it in writing

of how stark girlhood feels during

the harvest season,

when all the little rice grains

doused in blood are picked

instead of pink poppies,

and Mother tells you

to feel pure, 

to run free, 

to grow teeth,

to dance!

to scream!

to weep! 

you eat loudly—

gnaw your fruit

like the cold slugger

you were meant to be,

let the flesh trickle

down your lips

in the manner of

a holy woman.

this is the last supper

no man will preach. 

i ask you about

the seven sallow baby teeth

chained taut around your neck.

you tell me it’s the dry season— 

that your raisin skin is

soon to reap death

and Mother is still

spread out amongst

the hallowed hills

of rome. 

a note from the artist--

To me, this poem revolves around several themes: a daughter’s cold regret; the pain and beauty of girlhood; the brazen flesh of womanhood; the rude finality of life and the remnants thereafter. I wanted to write something raw in its imagery yet tender in its meaning.

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