again tongue doubled open
teeth clench down on tail
to hide change in dialect

do not speak when asked
if the sky reds unexpectedly
does it drawl out

blood or blush
morning presses
against what is exposed

bare the back
readjusting scales
the diamond-rough patterns

the questions the choice
to split open or swallow whole
when caught inside

& undertongue
the teeth feel like stalagmites
and the smile’s glittering wall is not

unmentionable when excavated
mouths become unspeakable
if taste buds shed without notice

she curls disoriented into his cave
remorse coded across skin & couldn’t she
shrink or settle down roll in the dark-

made room in the damp roof of mouth
the batted lashes screeching
when the whisky-weathered-

man’s rock-belly provided shelter
a shirt flapped a bladed wing

skidding across the floor guts flipping
unfamiliar sometimes she imagines
women apparitions on the mattress

sometimes eros sleeping in too late
stretching out vertebrae
discovery and recovery are the same

in tail-bone speech
the light trails in her eye
a spine traced back

to root
to origin
to mourning

when the sun bangs on the window
night tastes like erosion
& stuttering over the first syllable
she collects sprawled and shapeless skin