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 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.