There’s a rotten tooth stuck in my head
I blame if for all the vile things I’ve said.
As this tooth influences all that I say
My words come out twisted and stink of decay.
I just can’t control what comes out of my mouth
This world is screwed I constantly rave and shout.
Some people suggest my rotten tooth should come out
So I can cleanse my cesspit of a mouth.
Friends hope then I might start to heal
Not realising this to me has no appeal.
As I feel without this tooth I wouldn’t be me
forever condemned to write toothless poetry.
So there’s still a rotten tooth stuck in my head
I know we will be together until my last breath.
But I wonder if this tooth had any actual effect
What if my soul was always bitter and wrecked.
What if I imagined my rotten tooth was there
Because I needed something to justify why I don’t care.
What if poetry was a virus?
Imagine contagious words
spread through the air,
so as I breathe
the rhyme is drawn in to me
bringing with it fever.
Then line by line by line
poetry multiplies through my cells,
verse by verse by verse
my nerve endings are set aflame
and poem by poem by poem
I burn all night.
Early next morning my fever broke,
I snapped awake covered
in a sheen of sweat like morning dew.
Shaking myself like a dog
my fever now a dying ember
my hands scrambled for poetry.
hoping to catch
Under the strobe like flicker
of failing street lights,
two lovers keep their date
as they keep their distance.
Masks are slid down to reveal shy smiles
while remaining beyond arms reach,
so only their cigarette smoke entwines.
Both are lost for words
both are lost in this new world,
fingers that want to lock
now only grip phones
to exchange digital kisses
and like and share each other’s posts.
All to soon it’s time for whispered farewells
don masks for separate bus journeys home,
tag their partners in posts about the virus
that might go viral?