Pretty by Venus Davis

Every bone in the human body, 

all 270 or 206,

are hidden under cement-like flesh, 

every bone except your teeth. 

If you meet a person at three, they will 

have all of their baby teeth. 

By age six, they’ll start to lose them. 

At twelve, they’ll have all of their adult teeth. 

And at twenty one, they’ll wonder why they didn’t bite 

or form the word “help” when they had the chance. 

They’ll think about their teeth for minutes, hours, months. 

How their brain went numb for seconds while a cousin touched

skin that is no longer there, 

ripping irreparable gaps in their memory, 

causing imaginary spiders to skitter up their spine at random, 

and being the first to make them feel like being a woman

is about being violated. 

And teeth are meant to change so, like a woman, 

they may sit still in her jaws and just look 


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