Copyright 2018

Metal in My Mouth

Shawn Aveningo Sanders

metal                  the taste of
           dirty copper


in my mouth      it lingers
all those jars     full of “wheat” pennies
                                          under my bed


           collected           saved for a . . .


it’s raining again


           I’m still broke
inside

                          and out


brush brush    and brush again
                        try another tooth
paste


           rinse
           repeat


did I tell you I only have one kidney?
I have copperirontinplatinum breath

blood?              yeah, it does
sorta taste like that             sometimes


      —ring—ring—ring—ring—


leave another voicemail after the beep


my calls          are very important
                                             (at least
           that’s what they tell me)


I have only a few pennies left
                                  for their thoughts


           none
                                 for their
cure

Taking Away the Pain in Georgia

Don’t worry Darlin’

this procedure is completely safe

 

I mostly remember his forearms

gigantic

popping veins as he squeezed the syringe

 

the needle injected

at the base of my skull

 

and the burn

Fuck!

it burned for hours

 

left side of my face

numb

for days

 

adrenaline surge

lasted

long enough to run 7.5 miles

and the long walk back

 

couldn’t even feel the cold wind

on my cheek

 

or a goodnight kiss from my child

 

on second thought

I’ll manage with the migraines—

Shawn Aveningo Sanders started out as show-me girl from Missouri and after a bit of globetrotting finally landed in Portland, Oregon. She is a widely published poet who can’t stand the taste of coconut, eats pistachios daily and loves shoes—especially red ones! (redshoepoet.com) Shawn’s work has appeared in over 120 literary journals and anthologies. She’s a Pushcart nominee (2015), Best of the Net nominee (2017), co-founder of The Poetry Box® (thepoetrybox.com), managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon, and winner of the first poetry slam in Placerville, California (2012). Shawn is a proud mother of three and shares the creative life with her husband in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.