Empty Sockets

I lost an eyelash today. It happens
all the time--loss
of moon shapes--curved slivers of nail clippings
and of lashes laden with parasitic mites and black mascara.
My skin, it sloughs off in microbes onto mattresses
and bath towels hung to dry above lost strands of hair
that wad and crawl away down into the drain.
The wastebasket that opens wide to cradle
snot-filled tissues and cotton swabs topped with brownish yellow.
It's always happening--loss occurs from every orifice--
the unwanted, the wasted.
The monthly shedding of eggs, discarded yolks
that float in menstruation, and drop to their deaths.
The baby teeth that climb their way out, struggling
to cut through pink, supple gums,
to later be wiggled loose by bigger bully teeth.
The wisdoms that were yanked bloody from their constricted caves
to make way for molars and impending crookedness.
All this for not--all the chewing and grinding will turn them
to wooden nubs to rot and fall out, until my gums grow
over to cover the empty sockets.
I long for the missing--my shaved whiskers,
my hair trimmings, misplaced eyelashes, saline tears,
drools of spit, picked scabs, and filed fingernail dust.
My used-up cells drift dormant onto shelves and knick-knacks,
waiting to be wiped away.


–Originally published by  Kind of a Hurricane Press.  Tic Toc anthology, May 2014.


Next poem:  Footnote to a Footnote

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