Chai Teeth Latte
It’s grainy, that’s what you notice first. A rough slough of sediment on your tongue, like the gritty shit you get after tumbling rocks. Mouthfeel. Wet cement. You only know about rock-sludge because your twelve-year-old went through a phase where she was all igneous and agate and bought granite shards off the internet, and you wondered if she was going to ask for those new drugs you read about in The New Yorker, the ones that turn you into a boy. But she’d stayed steady. The slurry thickens, taps at your teeth to be let in.
You remember every mouth that’s knocked against yours: Lisa at your wedding, Lydia at the prom. Barry outside the bar, once. Clack, clack, clack. He’d nearly missed your mouth. The milk-froth scalds the inside of your cheeks. Molars start to sprout there, strong and white and wanted. It feels good to let your flesh give way to a hot spurt of blood. You don’t talk to Barry anymore. You swallow.
God, but it’s delicious. Is that real star anise? You think of the review you found on TripAdvisor: Great espresso, rude barista. Remembered things I’d rather not. Your throat is warm and full of its own teeth, vocal cords caving to canines. Soon they will close up your airway and you will swallow yourself whole. Clack, clack, clack: that’s your mouth now, like an overloaded castanet. You are struck by your wanting for a body that is not the body you had this morning. You are struck by the permanence of that wanting. Your eyelashes crust with calcium. You throw your head back, submitting to the arrogance of a mouth with all its teeth.
Sasha Fox Carney is an undergraduate from Ottawa, Ontario studying English and gender at Yale University. Their work has been published in outlets including The Yale Literary Magazine, The Forge, and Barren Magazine. They are a two-time recipient of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and have been longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize.