Root Canal 

In her tooth is a cavity
rooted through
the southern universe.

Down the dark
hole you can see kudzu
vines strangling

rusted, hollow cars.
There’s is an alligator
waiting on the river

bank—see his jaws
slam down on her sweet,
lost beagle. If a girl

puts Spanish moss
on her head like hair,
is she then a grown woman,

asks the man in the trailer
park who watches girls
ride their bikes. In oppressive

humidity, they wash
their bodies in a storm drain
puddle. At Dusk,

the magnolia trees
hide cats giving birth,
and there she examines,

her body. The tiny
lump breasts hurt to touch.
Boys come by to tell

her to open her mouth,
and she takes in
their sour-breathed kisses.

Carlyle Bio Picture.jpg

Erin Carlyle is published in journals such as Driftwood Press, and she has a chapbook with Dancing Girl Press. She is the Assistant Poetry editor at Mid-American Review and a MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University.