Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 07/09/21


She dreamt of loss.
Gravel and enamel indenting her feverish cheek,
Rolling through the neck of her gown,
Getting caught in her hair.
Her teeth.

Without trauma, no broken branches, no rock slides,
Just a gentle cleaving popping
Ball from socket
Leaving a row of clean saliva-washed reservoirs

In her open mouthed slumber,
She welcomed the native bees to take sanctuary in any one of her vacant capsules.
The warm spill of mason bee larvae,
The tickling of pollen footed exploration,
The whisper of a navigational dance on her tongue.
Her smile a gorgeous golden waxy aurora!
Bees billowing lazily from her orifice at will,
Happily homemaking in the underland of her mouth.

Amidst the euphoria of the hum she wonders why she ever clung to her teeth?
Who needs teeth when you have bees?
Teeth are so….yesterday
And so goes the sundowning from thoughts fantastical to thoughts mundane.

As the real world comes into focus and her mouth’s mournful emptiness becomes evident,
(emptiness of bees, not emptiness of teeth)
She notices the new dimness of her engagement ring.
In the “real” world version her loss was a stone from the setting.
It had freed itself during the night
leaving a tiny pucker but inviting nothing.
Due diligence required peeling down the linens,
smoothing over the pillows,
squinting at the rug,
She notices how few things actually sparkle.
It was a curiously sad realization.

She also reflects fleetingly on whether diamonds would fit
In her empty tooth holes.
Cut or uncut.
Would they scratch her gums?
Diamonds can scratch people but people can’t scratch diamonds.
She flip flops this in her mind
Until she is no longer sure what is true.
She removes the ring and stows it safely away.
She doesn’t want to be reminded of what was lost.
She wants to posthumously ensure its safety
Now that its vulnerability has been revealed,
Although who is to say when this vulnerability arrived,
How could such a thing even be measured?

This is the Schrodinger’s cat of living,
Is the vulnerability still present even when you can’t see it,
Even when the potentiality of loss is nestled and bound,
Still. Indistinguishable from the linens.

Or maybe
With patience
And a hospitable receptiveness
And a vivid dream space
And an acute awareness of living things that buzz,
Our losses could be paradises

Nurture your spaces, children.

©2021 Nora Snyder All rights reserved.

Nora Snyder

Nora Snyder is a writer, organizer, and librarian. Her work springs from questioning and elevating the human experience through small moments. Her writing often touches upon issues of mental health, neurodiversity, parenthood, and feminine identity. She is the originator of Cliterally the Best Pleasure Hunt Ever, a yearly scavenger hunt to raise awareness and celebrate feminine body sovereignty. She writes for Illuminous Flux, works for the Lodi Whittier Library, facilitates the Writers’ Block Party mutual support group for word artists and organizes literary events in her Ithaca NY community.

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