You are Memory, and I Archive

I have fragile teeth,

Fragile eyes.

A tender heart,

And feet that flee.


I sleep my teeth

revealing me—always

grinding. When I was

younger I kept my baby teeth.

When I was younger, everything

was a souvenir.


I was an archivist long before

I knew death.

Preoccupied with

tooth-losing.

“how

Am I losing a part of myself”,

as though

every tooth held the secret of my lineage.


Blooming is not outgrowing the roots,

But becoming them.

My lineage, embodied knowledge.


I was eating ice cream,

With the man who reminds me of

The inside of a honey jar.

Sweet and very deliberate.


I have a sweet tooth, but a tooth ache.

Enamels so brushed out, I could never bite into an ice cube or a sorbet.


Yet, still afraid of leaving teeth marks.

“You can eat my whole heart for all I care” he laughs,

He was born under Scorpio clouds.


I think, how pupils

See everything but can hold nothing.

How adjusting to him was like eyes adjusting

To fluorescent light.


I imagine my hair, my smile,

In his memory.

Memory, an exercise of printmaking,

His heartache churning ink.


My voice laced with static.


To be archived by the men who once loved me,

An intentional practice.

I have feet that flee,

Held at the edge of memory.


I surely became more foolish

When I lost my wisdom teeth.


Jittering my last baby teeth, in

my palms. My gums are receding,

A concern for another time.









At the heart of Kim Roger Abi Zeid Daou's stories is an exploration of perceptual biases, neuroscience, and the dynamic and poetic ways in which we create and conceptualize narratives. Her current favorite album is Teen Dream - Beach House.









Illustration by Lucía Linaje-Ferrel