local_library Milk Teeth

by Patricia Kaishian

Published in Issue No. 255 ~ August, 2018

She was stolen

They said her milk teeth hadn’t yet dropped

and her dreams were still epics

Children swinging from vines

Joyful accidentals

Joined with

deliberate hands

doing tasks for mother

At 8 years old her mind

held the stories

we wish we dreamt

The kind that achingly leave

our rattled


At the same rate

continents drift apart

Which is

the same rate

our finger nails grow

till clipped,

they leave us


the very dust we sweep

we forget

they are just us

but in relief

our dried up protein



Are bursting and splitting

with grief

Loss so great and undefined

it chokes you

even as you smile

Like a vine transplanted

in a new land

Carrying in its genes

the teachings of some immense


But now

no predator for miles

So it coils tight

around yours

and around mine

Forgetting the deep time

system of we

The big we

account_box More About

Patricia is a PhD student in mycology at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, NY. As a fungal taxonomist, she names and describes new species of fungi. Patricia spends most of her time slinking through the forests of the Americas, looking through her microscope and fighting the white cisheteropatriarchy. She chooses to celebrate the unloved or overlooked organisms of the earth in both academic and creative writings, and uses scientific concepts as a lens for social commentary.