Hungry For Teeth

My teeth are forgotten bones
waiting quietly in my gums,
becoming comfortable behind lips
that tighten into a smile.

In tandem, my lips and teeth say,
It’s okay and
Oh, it’s no trouble and
No, no — really — I don’t mind.

With every phrase, I hunger for teeth
that line a quick, articulate tongue—
teeth and tongue that create
a path for me to walk.

I am hungry for teeth
that rip and tear,
teeth that meet the skin,
leave a mark,

teeth that will not loosen,
that I will not hide.

Haley Petcher lives in Huntsville, AL with her husband, Doberman, and cat and teaches high school English. She earned her BA from Auburn University and her MA from the University of Louisville, and she sends thanks to her professors for allowing her to repeatedly crash their office hours. She has writing in Pithead Chapel, Inkwell Journal, and Coffin Bell Journal, among others, and you can find her on Twitter: @HaleyPetcher, and at