Victoria Nordlund

MYIASIS

Myiasis is a rare disease primarily caused by infestation of tissue by larvae of houseflies. Oral myiasis is still more “rare” and “unique” owing to the fact that the oral cavity rarely provides the necessary habitat conducive for a larval lifecycle. --From the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology


Your tongue is too big
for your mouth. You tell yourself
it has always been this way.

You hold it, and realize
you have held it for so long.
You try pulling it loose,

dislodging it from its roots,
but it swells even more,
blocking your breath. 

This is one of those dreams
where you are alone
in front of a bathroom mirror

reflecting on a self
your subconscious
says you need to see.

This is one of those dreams
where you know you
are dreaming but you can't

wake up, or fly away, or change
the scene. So here you are calmly
inspecting your engorged organ.

You consider your options---
squeezing could release the pressure---
so you might be able to speak again. 

This is normal--- A pimple
to be popped. But it won't budge,
and you grow impatient.

You take a scalpel that is next
to your electric toothbrush and Oil of Olay
and try to penetrate a tongue

that has now turned black—
A swollen eel that doesn't shock you.
Deciding it will take too much effort to break

the surface, you tell yourself you can easily
live like this. You are tired and you
find this funny because you are sleeping.

So you convince yourself to leave well
enough alone even when you feel
something hatching and rising.

But the dream opts for removal
of this squirming mass. The scalpel
is now a sword---heavy and sharp.

You can do this. 

But you don't,
even though you know
what has made a home inside.

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