Kate Wright

TO OLD LOVERS
According to my Pop, when Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear, he mailed it, in a box, to his ex-girlfriend so, the two things that caused him the most pain in life could be together.

A baby tooth for the boy who left me
when I moved across states,
too fast to find a girl not so far.
You’ll be replaced soon
scribbled on a note card, tooth
haphazardly held, scotch tape
dulling its shine, dropped
into an envelope, sealed.

A molar half-gone, cavity cutting
down the middle, rings of tan,
brown, black. You’re rotten
to the boy with perfect,
white teeth, who couldn’t stop
lies from escaping them.

Another tooth with a small brown spot
at the corner, lost before it blossomed
into something more, for the boy
met through mutual friends
who grew to despise our alcohol-dependent,
late-night, rebound relationship:
You were starting to eat away at me.
We grew tired of it too.

Finally, four wisdom teeth,
sliced and ripped raw, freed
from jaw and gum, all packaged
and prepped for the boy who tried
so hard to stay, so long until:
I had to cut you
out, you were giving me nothing
but pain.

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