Malocclusion

Circumstances, finances,
and just plain
stubbornness
kept me with a mouth
full of
teeth resembling tombstones in an old cemetery,
one rotated incisor jutting
so far up
into my mouth
as to
make me look half-wolfish.

What’s wrong with your TEETH?
a small niece asks of me,
herself surrounded by
perfect,
even
smiles…the birthright of the suburban teenager.

There’s nothing wrong with them, I tell her.
They’re simply not straight.

I take a kind of
perverse pride
in my jagged
countenance – my way of saying,
“Fuck you. This is MY beauty.”

In Japan, they call it yaeba,
and women pay the equivalent
of thousands of dollars
to look as I do –
crooked,
irregular, with a smile
that takes adjusting to.

One response to “Malocclusion

  1. Love it! and love that you love yourself!

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