nine years old:
i am white-knuckled, knobble-kneed thing, careening down a hill, feet slipping off bike pedals free falling into the side of a parked truck,knocking loose my two front teeth
for a moment i am boy -cackling, speeding towardsa violent, bloody mouth,making myself into ragged edge
i turn girl again when i run crying into my mother’s arms afterwards, soft parts suddenly exposed, dragged out from under all that enamel
my stepfather digs through the grass,looking for what has fallen out of me - - too late -the break has already happened,pieces of me lost to the ground -
this is the day the dying starts, when girl starts to curdle and sour, taste of rot in my mouth, when that word lodges itself in my gums, a possession that will seep into the roots
two days after the accidenti get my teeth replaced,shiny pearl white crownsfitted over the jagged bits left behind -you could hardly tell thatanything was missing
Lip Manegio is a queer trans nonbinary performance poet currently based in Boston, where they study Writing, Literature, & Publishing at Emerson College and work as an organizer for the Emerson Poetry Project. They have previously been published by Voicemail Poems, SlamChop, SlamFind, and SheCult, have self published the chapbook Family Dinner and the collaborative collection Gender??? In This Economy??? with Myles Taylor, and are a member of the 2018 Emerson College CUPSI team. They can be found most Wednesdays at the Boston Poetry Slam and most mornings steaming milk & spilling coffee at their day job.