you'll know that you've died 

when your mother tells you

she found your baby teeth 

in her old jewelry box—

the one that unfolds into itself

like peeling skin, where

she kept the turquoise ring

you used to try on when

no one was home.


you'll realize what it smells like

to decay, to not belong to yourself

any longer, to let the nerve endings

hang loose and see the final

fingernail clippings you'll ever make

scattered on the pearl floor,

in the rug with the paisley print,

in the corners and grout of the tile.


you'll have to apologize for how poorly

you cleaned up after yourself,

letting your dead skin turn to dust

on the tabletop. how is anyone supposed to eat here?

Oh, My Word! Olivia would love to hear from you after reading this poem. Leave a comment below!

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Oh, My Word! is a weekly updated blog featuring fiction, poetry, drama, and essays for the world. #OhMyWordWednesday

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Hello! I am a poet and essayist who sometimes likes to share her work with the world! I am currently an English major at the University of Iowa and write as often as I can (when not spiraling into the black voids of the internet).

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