A Poem about Teeth and Death

by John Guzlowski


These teeth are sharp
Made of stone and wire

The first men used them
To kill the first women

Sorrow then descended
Like sundown
On the sweet world

Wisdom became
Violence

Humor became the lies
We tell our mothers

Killing made
The killing men lighter

Feathers in the hands
Of their friends

Killing made
The dying women heavier

A chain of words in the hands
Of their friends

This is what the words
Of the dying women said:

Tell them
We have met

On the plains
Of summer

And left there
What we loved best

The heavy spoons
The full wooden bowls

The aprons that kept
Blood from our throats.

Tell them
Dying is a virtue

A song without words
Hummed by

The first child
Of the first man

Who killed
The first woman

With his stone
And wired teeth.

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