I catch the fall on my lips.
Jaw opens loud into the asphalt.

First the sound of plates breaking,
cringe of blood, teeth splinter
like a shattered cabinet of china.

You arrive to see me on a stiff bed
covered in towels, smaller,
jagged nerves exposed.

I cover my mouth with my hands.
I can only imagine how purple,
unkissable, the lips two oven mitts,
the teeth—just gone.

But you’re not screaming, your breath
makes the air in this half-room warmer.
Still I cry, mumble something
about taking prettiness for granted
as if pronouncing words will help.


Published in The Nervous Breakdown January 2012