My dentist tells me that I clench my jaw and grind my teeth when I sleep. She says it’s so bad that my molars and K-9s are almost flat. I wish to tell her that my jaw and my sleep are where I hold all my anxiety but I keep quiet and nod because even with her fingers and tools in my mouth, she won’t understand. She then tells me that I brush too aggressively, the enamel is disappearing; I can’t get it back. I want to explain that it’s because I’ve been spending extensive time trying to scrub away the bitter left overs of men from my mouth. I’ve been taking hotter, longer showers to scorch any piece of remembrance of my mistakes. Scrubbing the skin hard so that I can peel off freckles and watch them swirl down the drain. My nails are frequently clipped short, no chance of growth. I’ve been letting my hair grow long, leaving the ends split and dead. My body is now a dilapidated structure with no foundation to build upon. And my teeth—my mouth—happen to be another part of my body I am desperately trying to cleanse. My enamel and sharpened molars are more errors I can add to my list called: “Qualities I Will Never See Again”. But she doesn’t care and she doesn’t need to know, so again, I nod, and mentally add these items to my list called: “Conversations for my Therapist”.
Amy Lundquist currently resides in St. Paul, MN. She lives with her husband, two dogs, and three cats. She has been previously published by: Atlantis: UNCW Creative Magazine, Charlotte Viewpoint, Her Heart Poetry, and For Women Who Roar. During 2019, Amy has been working to finish her first full-length poetry manuscript and is more than ready to pursue her writing career.