On Bumping Into a Formerly Snaggle-Toothed Young Coed

by | Feb 10, 2015 | Poetry

Why do girls with
braces on their teeth
always look so much
like cats when they
smile? Even their ears
appear more pointed
and alert. Their cheek
bones higher and their
eyes so calculating
and fixed. When they
flare their nostrils
you can almost see
the whiskers twitch.
Maybe it’s just all
that metal-work
against the tender
pink of gums—that
complication of
wires and brackets
and tiny hooks
between their lips:
that hint of bird
cage door, mouse
trap sprung.


Photo By: Drew Herron

About The Author

Robert Perchan

Robert Perchan’s poetry chapbooks are Mythic Instinct Afternoon (2005 Poetry West Prize) and Overdressed to Kill (Backwaters Press, 2005 Weldon Kees Award). His poetry collection Fluid in Darkness, Frozen in Light won the 1999 Pearl Poetry Prize and was published by Pearl Editions in 2000. His avant-la-lettre flash novel Perchan’s Chorea: Eros and Exile (Watermark Press, Wichita, 1991) was translated into French and published by Quidam Editeurs (Meudon) in 2002. He currently resides in Pusan, South Korea.