All evening my tongue

a manic magician in a submerged metal trunk
unknotting constraint.

My novice contortionist tongue
fixated on the gum’s

suture threads
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.

Flesh released.
The magician’s second secret—

where did it go.