Mouth Pear

Jeff Encke

At the touch of a screw the fruit distends in the mouth
an arduous barrier between cavity and functional capability
the underlying palate soft    a defect of mastication

We keep what is lost    the first impression in a child’s putty
a denture overcoming the residual ridge of the face

Only speech ends the condition of conjunction    the cast of sulci
poses the weight of compromise      choice loads of bone made labial
the fabrication of principles undercuts the restoration of twang

The internal rules of aesthetics, the lean rubber of the educated
heat but a simple technique to level and prepare for the thereafter

Orientation grooves flush with next steps   the same palpable mandible
a cause of concern during phonation           waxed up in comfort
a visible light of resin                     the jaw coping with hypernasality

We mull a rarefaction of physical, psychological      the pity
of the indistinct resting on the disuse of the excessive

About the Work

Jeff Encke

Jeff Encke’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Fence, Kenyon Review Online, Salt Hill, and Tarpaulin Sky. In 2004, he published Most Wanted: A Gamble in Verse, a series of love poems addressed to Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi war criminals printed on a deck of playing cards.

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