Bad Habit

My bite is orally wrong; 
it’s unnatural 
the dentist said. 
and abraded. 
What if I lose 
the only person who loves it? 
The architecture 
is all gothic arches 
askew angles 
jutting inward and outward. 
Blood blisters hang on my cheeks 
like Black Doris plums 
tended by my molars’ 
constant rubbing. 
I fill the hard palate 
with my tongue 
finding the depth 
the dentist said was evidence 
of a thumb sucker. 

Hamish’s Boulangerie

You shouldn’t flirt 
with your employer 
when you are fourteen 
even if he’s only thirty. 
Be careful of your fingers, 
he’d warn in Glaswegian 
when I used the machine 
to slice pastrami for the baguettes.
It was early in the morning. 
If I forgot to bring a hair tie 
we’d wait until the chemist opened. 
He’d give me a dollar from the till. 
Nothing fancy, not a scrunchie! 
I could have used string. 
Framed in his rusted mirror 
I’d try a different style. 
You have beautiful hair 
he’d said once while I rinsed 
chocolate off a mixing bowl. 
Long and shiny, like my wife’s. 


Amy Brown has recently completed a BA in English Literature and Philosophy, which included poetry and short-fiction workshops offered by the IIML. She is currently travelling around South East Asia, gathering life experience, after spending a few months teaching English in Vietnam.