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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

Vanessa Napolitano lives in Yorkshire with her husband and daughter and way too many stuffed unicorns. Her recent publications can be found in 'Free Verse Revolution II', and the anthology 'Songs of Love & Strength'. Her favourite soda is probably cream soda - she used to say pop, but spent a long time in America and switched.

A red broom sweeping a path through dirt on a white floor.

VANESSA NAPOLITANO

PULL YOUR OWN TEETH

In this time are they saying we should pull our own teeth?

Not, as we cut our own hair, origami our own wings, clean our own tiles,

but sharply, quickly, for the greater good, slam what offends us

like a door. Make ourselves yank out the root.

 

In this time of pulling out our own hair,

I dream of mowing my lawn like a competent human,

I pluck out strands of protein loops, I lasso things at a granular level,

I cannot get the fucking weeds up.

 

In this time of weed blossom,

I cry great catalysts of salt water and it leaves migraine shadows

where catharsis should be.

My bones throb along the paths of my face.

 

In this time of grinding teeth, bone-meet-bone,

my bare hand spades at hard soil to get something done

and call it work. Only call it work in an emergency.

Only yank out the root.

Header image Getty Images Signature

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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

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