we bare bloodied teeth and wish to be kissed
5 minute read
i was born stained in red, basking in the color of blood and furious fires, feet charred black from dipping into the embers, licking flames, and smiling with viciousness seeping from the points of my teeth. i was born not to be a lover but to be a fighter, to scream battle cries and throw insults instead of whispering ballads and gifting compliments the way you do to me. i was born from a mother tired of fighting, tired of running and tired of fighting to preserve a youth that was ripped from her hands, left with nothing more than stale air and poisoned water. you were born cleansed in white, swimming in a divine color built only for gods and snow, your palms glued together and your tongue out to taste a purity i never had the privilege of consuming into a sinful bloodstream. you were born to love and to give, to sing your woes and kiss your thoughts goodnight instead of burning those who wronged you the way i have done my entire life. you were born from a mother ready to fight, a mother who said yes when she wanted so desperately to say no. when she wanted to scream her midnight words and let her throat run raw but instead gifted you the fire that was put out within her so long ago. we were born in both sin and prayers, water and fire, repelling and compelling, wishing we had everything our eyes wandered to, but knowing that it is a butterfly. a thing so majestic to a chipped eye but too quick for our tired hands to catch. but we were birthed with red for teeth, blood and rage growing and biting what we want most. so we bare our bloodied teeth and wish to be kissed, while knowing we are about to feast on a butterfly, yearn for the white in a person’s teeth and the purity we lack deep in our bones. we bare our bloodied teeth and wish to be kissed, using iron fists instead of velvet gloves, hit rather than caress, push because we cannot pull what our eyes wander to, what our hearts beat so mercilessly for. but we bare our bloodied teeth and wish to be kissed by one another because we both have what we want. and blood may mingle with blood, sin may mix with sin, but we have each other’s prayers on the tips of our tongues and purity is in the eye of the beholder, but sin mixed with blood is tasted in our lips. but i think we were born longing to taste that scarlet metal on the skin of our lips and the tips of our tongues because who else is born with red for teeth and wishes to be kissed?
Mya Sweeney is a sixteen-year-old nonfiction poet from Florida whose obsessions include color-coding and accidental arson.