laughter trapped between
the cracks in her teeth, yellow
and fouled like berry seeds in
cherryflesh fruit gums.

friction causes the abscess:
dry gunpowder curls
of giggling as the
priest drags heavy incense past
the body (he uses both hands
and his face is greyed with effort
and jealousy. glory be.)

and she can't stop herself,
her cold amusement
in a dirty wooden pew,
like she can't stop the grief
lodged in the coils of her throat
like bone and opaque gristle.
she wakes in the night
to stand on the green bath mat
(his shampoo smells like an orchard)
as water flecks her cheeks
and catches her eyelashes
and weeps for her,
too much vacancy for the drain to swallow.


inspired in part by Iron & Wine at midnight. white tongues hang out, god is good.