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the year i began to consider

all matter by its negation,

the tooth was no longer

a saltwater pearl resting in gum-­bed

but a tarblack erasure

i became prone to tongue.

before it happened, i had wanted

the whole bottom row to drop

from my jaw like sixteen ritual deaths,

wanted the stitch-thread and door-slam.

(after, anything but that hollow

porcelain plink would have been fine,

anything but my left incisor  

suspended in chamomile,

an unwanted debris clinking  

against the mug.)

lily goldberg

sad mouth



Lily Goldberg is a 16-year-old poet from New York City. She is a graduate of the Iowa Young Writers' Studio, and a two-time national gold medalist in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Besides writing, her other great loves include lemon sorbet, the BIC Atlantis pen, swing dancing, and her dog. She is a current junior at Hunter College High School, where she is the managing editor of their literary magazine, Argus.

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