Skip to content

Eviction Notice from the Tooth Fairy & red is a spectrum

Jaden Fong



I fear that I have offended my teeth.
They are as loose in my gums, 
bucking broncos in a gingivae
             stadium, but please, do not abduct them yet– 
             these teeth do not know what is good
             for them. They have been domesticated,

you must understand: my wisdom teeth 
have been loyal to me since my childhood.
You tell me, thief, what else shall I remember it 
             by? What else will dissolve this mind
             into something I can swallow? I wish I had 
             put my incisors in a jar so that I might rattle

them against the window of their house and pretend 
that they were knocking at my unimpressed door, 
desperate to macerate these memories.
             These teeth are in an absurd need 
             of socialization. I gnash them 
             together, force them to mingle

to chitter and pitter and chatter and patter; 
I can feel their shrill shrieks and panging 
cackles carelessly clinking the walls
             of my skull. And you must understand 
             that these teeth are fickle in many ways. 
             They argue and tussle and bash bottles.

I do not mind the mess. I imagine that so long 
as there is broken glass on the floor, these teeth
will stick around to clean up for the next party, even
             when my skin begins to crease
             when my memory begins to fall out
             when my life hangs on by threads of soft tissue



“Red lips are not so red as the stained stones kissed by the English dead.” – Wilfred Owen, “Greater Love”

baby i bite       at the wind      like a bat 
              that's head over           heels
              for its               next meal
your jugular    is in                 my sight 
and      i'm gnashing    my canines    at
the thought    of what words      what juice 
might spill                   out of the apple
             in your throat.      yes      that lump 
             must be hiding            something
horrifying        something    that you cannot 
            tell     me         nor that you can
     swallow    yourself                          it is 
purgatory         that way      and my fangs 
are vibrating                            stalagmites 
in an earthquake            imagining
            the mouthfeel of that median
            yes it is scary              to surrender 
    and even worse        to not have a choice
make it easy        on both of us     and look 
    up at the stars          and do your best
to          distinguish them         from gnats 
because           the vampiric    truth
is that              our bodies         were full 
             of red               before they were 
             full of blood                but looking
     out at the     deep    dark     cold     blue 
it makes                       no difference
             to either           of us


Jaden Fong is a Chinese-American writer with a sweet tooth and a soft spot for the whimsical and the peculiar. A two time nominee for the Aliki Perroti and Seth Frank Most Promising Young Poet Award, he has won awards in fiction, poetry, and other forms of writing. His writing is most often inspired by the natural world, and in his free time, he likes to spend time in nature, where he frequently and confidently misidentifies every flower he comes across. You can find his work on the Academy of American Poets website at, Flora Fiction, The Santa Clara Review, Nightingale & Sparrow, Poets’ Choice, and miniskirt magazine, among other places. To see his work on custom tea-stained paper or to contact him, find him on Instagram at @jadenwriter.