Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Leda Glass

Photo by Hadi Slash on

I hold my toothpaste in my mouth
And let it burn new holes.

A pathetic attempt
At cleanliness,
Maybe far too close to godliness
For somebody like me—

My inner cheek flesh,
That suede bitten blanket,
May have been twice reborn
And a half,

But my brain still hears
“Good girl,”
And bends me at the knees
With every swish and spit.

I hear Pluto’s voice,
Scopolamine and steel—
“Swallow these heavy seeds
And forever hold my peace.”

It really starts to burn,
This fluoride sin-mirage,
But I wear my pain like lipstick—
Far easier on the lips than truth.

The pen or the sword,
The toothpaste or the cum;
Remains the age-old question
Of memory or touch.

I’ll spit it out eventually,
(Better the sink than me)
And turn my back to him,
Absolve him of his guilt.

Of course, he is not here,
And the toothpaste is just toothpaste,
And I will foxhunt my soul to silence
And do it again tonight.


Leda Glass grew up with one foot in the grave and a pen in hand. As a victim of child sex trafficking, the little war in her informs every word of her work and every step of her life. A self-described ghost, she doesn’t know why she’s here on earth or if she even is, but she knows she must write. Every poem is an attempt to crystallise a thought, a tendril, a fragment, usually through raw and dreamy imagery. When there is so much to say and so little space to feel, Glass gets a little scrap of peace in every poem.

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