Tuesday, April 7, 2015

National Poetry Month 7: Playing Games

Playing Games
Jack Garcia

My mouth says, “Play with me,”
a sentence composed
of consonants and vowels
and the whoosh of air in between
the ticking of my tongue and teeth,
affected by the round of

my mouth. Lips that are good                                
at kissing or giving head,
but not so great at whistling;
nothing comes out my lips
but air, cold and biting like winter
winds that rip 

my lips.  Lips that get too chapped,
no matter how much Vaseline I rub
on them in the mornings,
sticking like the peanut butter
I lick and suck off the spoon,
my little skin flakes like a frilly fringe framing

my teeth.  Teeth filled now with metal
dots (like dice showing snake eyes)
where once were cavities,
where once were metal
braces, for two years and two months,
the brackets snagging on 

my lips when I smiled.  I smile
even when you hurt me, or worse,
when I hurt you.  I praise, I wound,
I profess many truths I don’t believe
anymore, giving lip service to prophets,
lovers, and gods like vomit from

my mouth, swilling in the toilet
when I’ve had too much to drink.
Greedy and deceitful, mine is a mouth
which has often lied… lies so comforting
I wrap them around me
like a fringed blanket to keep

my mouth from quivering in the cold
as you roll snake eyes and land on Park Place.
“Yow owe me 1500 dollars,” I say, chewing coyly
on my hotel.  You shove rainbow money into my grinning mouth,
choking me with my own hidden agendas like the tongue I can’t roll
into a taco but, boy, can I roll it over you.

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