Back Teeth

I took out my back teeth: well,
I was fed up to them, stuffed with
the usual mucus. Apologies.
Flirtations. The familiar
whack and thistle of words,
the whinge you find in the chimney
whenever unswept,
the yellow pages of desire.

Iím going to sit right down
with makebelieve: the letters
leased to translators,
the syncopation of old alphabets,
the folderol of forgiveness. All that.

I rinsed them with vinegar,
poached them. I had a mind
to paint them with enamel, let them set.
Cauterise what was
left of my throat, and stick them
into position. Tell me
a story. Tell me a
story, do.

From the book Love Poems