by Spenser Santos

Sunstruck by artificial light,
I stare up slack-jawed,
numb and dumb while my words
slur as if chewed and never swallowed.

The doctor leans over me,
her drill-fingers long,
spidering to the back of my mouth
to examine the source of my wisdom.

Her sawblade nails
make the first cut,
an incision that takes away my vision
of what was and will come.

The dull ache slowly turns
from a low, rumbling growl
to the full-fanged roar
of the wounded lion.

And I can taste it then-
the molten-iron words of my wisdom,
her self-expression bound in blood
flowing to the world outside my mouth.

Under attack at her roots, the iron
coming stronger as the saw cuts deeper,
my wisdom gives way, leaving behind
a crater of knowledge past.

In time she will regenerate, and from
my mouth words will come alive again;
but for now she has been defanged
as I have also been.