when god forced the pit of you behind my teeth,
i thought i could handle your stone-fruit weight
crushing my jaw into sand. i thought the seeds
you dropped in my stomach could grow
anything but gnarled snakes, eager to breed
venom-brained children. i thought i could be
the tree that cradles their sweet heads until
green gives way to grapefruit orange. instead,
they fester, overripe, poison-scaled. i didn't want
to use the hammer daddy couldn't use on me,
but god knows a head is better split than sick.
DEAN SYMMONDS is a queer poet from the South seeking zir BA in Creative Writing at Hollins University. Ze works as a Poetry Editor at Persephone's Daughters, and is an alumna of the Hollows Shout the Mountains Down Winter Tangerine workshop. Zir poems have been published in magazines like [empath], Gravel, The Album, and Crab Fat Magazine. You can find zem on Twitter @poetpersephone.