Cavities
Maggie Bowyer

The fridge was buzzing

Something awful in my ear;

The rest of the apartment was eerie,

The silence seeming to bounce

Off the walls now missing

So much for their furniture,

Your furniture.

I turned on a 90s RomCom

To drown out the couple

Arguing about dishes upstairs.

I couldn’t help but wonder

Why the fuck are these movies

Always have the heartbroken girl

Shovel Rocky Road into her mouth

While tears dribble down her chin?

The icy brownie bites would remind me

Of the cavity in my back right molar

And your stupid voice would slide

It’s way into my ear “You should

Really schedule that dentists appointment,”

As if you always showed up

To get your teeth polished every

Six months on the dot.

I’d rather toss a few Rollos into my mouth,

Push them to the back left side,

Let them melt just a little bit,

Caramel holding me together.

I turn the volume up to drown out

The voices above getting louder,

Just reminding me I am alone,

Wondering how the girls

In these films always look perfect

When they are crying? I tend to look

Like a clown who got caught

Out in the rainstorm, my balloons

Struck by lightning;

On the screen, the couple,

After each having their own epiphany,

Begin running back to one another,

Running!

I turn off the TV;

I have to get used to the silence.

Maggie Bowyer (they/them/theirs) is a poet, essayist, cat parent, and author from North Carolina. They are the author of The Whole Story (Margaret Bowyer, 2020) and When I Bleed: Poems about Endometriosis (2021). They have been featured in Bourgeon Magazine, Detour Ahead, Germ Magazine, Scribe, Written Tales, and more. They were the Editor-in-Chief of The Lariat Newspaper, a quarter-finalist in Brave New Voices 2016, and they were a Marilyn Miller Poet Laureate.

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