I was walking back from a parade in my hometown
when I saw a house on fire, or it had been, was
smoking itself like a cheap cigar.   I went inside,
no one stopped me. I was very attached to this house.
I found small scraps, discs and ovals, of sheet metal
and began hoarding them in my cheeks, and they
didn’t cut me. I loaded my mouth with them, tried
to talk around them, such a shame and that
used to be red
. Then, this is ridiculous, I thought,
and took them out, one at a time, even the slivers
buried in my gums. Then I ignored the ruined rooms
and became obsessed with the room of my mouth.
I dug around my teeth, into my teeth, the molar
in the back left—I pulled off its top, began scraping out
sculptor’s clay, decayed, stuck to my hands, suddenly
poured from my mouth, the endless toxic excavation.

Stacia M. Fleegal is the author of Versus, Anatomy of a Shape-Shifter, and two chapbooks. Her poetry was nominated for two Pushcart prizes and has been included in Best of the Net 2011, North American Review, Fourth River, Mud Luscious, and UCity Review. She is the co-founder/co-editor of Blood Lotus.