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Erin Taylor

July 11, 2017


a traumatic photosynthesis
i have built a city entirely made
of baby teeth, roots holding still
the frosted fort. the winter takes
its toll on the way people’s hands
touch on the street. two lovers
are sharing jello off one plate
in a garden constructed on empti
ness. i see the little eyes they give
each other, lime green jello sitting
in the freezer for decades. my bones
have found a place in a mausoleum
called childhood. an epitaph reads
“she tried to hold the sea in her arms
and only drowned.” the city built of
what has always been left under my
pillow elects a mayor with purple
skin, bruised over by time. some
people are softer than others,
some hide it well while others not at
all. the iced streets only remind peop
le of what it is like to hold onto the
air. my spine builds a bridge between
two lovers, when they fight they take
apart bit by bit my straight and narrow.
i curve in the cold only for you. i am
eternally stuck in my father’s bed
frightened by nightmares that turned
out to exist in darkness, a childhood
forgotten, i forget my own name as it
leaves my voice. echoing in the baby
teeth metropolis. the teeth are turning
brown, smog paints and the tourists
claim it is charming. they take photos
in front of my epitaph, they take photos
in front of my ribcage, no longer protec
ting the beating, now protecting the beat
en, the trodden. the city sleepers with
their blankets never large enough to cover
their own bodies find shelter under
adam’s leftovers. i am a body awoke,
i am a city created out of every person
who has ever fingerprinted my skin.
skin cells that grow plants, skin cells that
shed only during the winter. the bruised
mayor erects a monument to the moment
my mother first saw me and a monument
to the last time i saw my mother. Children
play amongst the doves that nest at my feet.
the city entirely made of my baby teeth
carry heavy like it is the light of the sun.

Erin Taylor is an American writer. Her writing often deals with her own experiences and trauma. It is usually poetry, with some exceptions. She has a chapbook of poetry OOOO out through Bottlecap Press. She is writing a book on loneliness. Her work can be found at and she tweets at @erinisaway.