All evening my tongue
a manic magician in a submerged metal trunk
My novice contortionist tongue
fixated on the gum’s
thin as bakery string, thick as old rope mooring.
They dissolve, the dentist said, without
but my jittery tongue has no buds for patience,
can’t savor suspense.
Waking this morning
only sleep is stuck to my teeth
scraggly fibers, whole carefully drawn stitches
dislodged and gone.
The magician’s second secret—
where did it go.