In my dreams, my teeth commonly crack
and fall out of my mouth. When my gums
give way, there is a soft crumbling, a gritty feeling
as I spit pieces of myself onto the sidewalk.
When awake, I remove my teeth more patiently,
through the action of cigarettes and coffee. Sitting down,
I absently run my tongue against the roof of my mouth,
over small burns and dry skin. I can taste my own spit.
In my dreams, I am usually in the process of walking away.
I pass people I do not recognize nor do they see me–
a walk through Ferlinghetti’s stupor of the mind. My hands
are yellow now. They stink. I know this will kill me, this half living.
I go back to my room, blub-lit, anxious. I apply topical creams
to my face and eyes, clean out the daylight and soot
behind my ears. I reluctantly brush my teeth. Eventually,
I’ll climb back into bed, tucked in for another pale year.