Quarterly Literary Review Singapore
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Vol. 3 No. 1 Oct 2003

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Mouth Piece

Children were given a necklace
of peony-roots to chew
while teething. Were given
amber to suck for success.
A wolf's tooth could foster
good dentition, if clutched
by the child in sleep.
A milk-tooth, shed, was burned
and a rhyme sung, to prevent
the child having to seek it after death.
Reading this, I worry about the teeth
of my long gone lover still -
what could they do to hex me,
what future grief vex me,
ghosting their way in-and-out
of bodies, spirit of my tongue
still trapped in forsworn ivory?
May he never speak
of his new love's teeth.
May a spell leave him
edentulous as anteaters,
sloths, things which creep.
May my mouth stay ghostless
and fresh as May leaves.
May each tooth my tongue tickled
loosen and cleave off
as his loose vows did.
Leave him only a sleeve
of gums, to frighten all lovers,
make all lovers run.
Let justice bite him.
Fang superstition.

By W.B. Keckler

QLRS Vol. 3 No. 1 Oct 2003


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  Other Poems in this Issue

On Silence
By Mark Pirie.

By Mark Pirie.

Here Russia spreads her legs like the body compass of a prima ballerina
By Ronny Someck.

Return to Kuantan
By Oswald LeWinter.

modes of transport
By Shazanah Hassan.

Planting Mines
By Thow Xin Wei.

The All-Night Attendant at the Foreign Experts' Compound
By Charles Lowe.


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