On Anxiety By Brandon Melendez

Issue 10

& then my throat went numb //
a canal filled with teeth //
cavity infected with bugs //
choking on //
this wheel house //
I call a mouth //

they found a handwritten apology //
under a live tooth //
& my tongue started wearing off //

they say //
you’re just a mouth //
just a butcher //
without a story //
or who doesn’t exist //
I respond //
I have anxiety //

I have anxiety //
but I still have all these good teeth //
I still have a deep winter //
streaming from my smile //
this keeps me calm //

this process //
of learning to love //
this anxiety //
like a crown of stars //
a transformation //
one day at a time //

look //
my teeth changed into hands //


Source: Yelp Page of a dental office I once worked for

Method: I copied & pasted all the yelp reviews into a document & started cutting & rearranging the language until a poem emerged. This was quite fun.

Brandon Melendez is a poet and educator raised in California. He is a National Poetry Slam finalist, two time Berkeley Grand Slam Champion, and he has won “Best Poem” & “Funniest Poem” at collegiate national poetry competitions. He has poems in or forthcoming in Tinderbox, Friction, and Corridors. He is currently an MFA candidate at Emerson College.