Outside the Toothbride is a bag brittle with bones. She is eating his food, breaking the fat, wetting the porridge into an edible wool. A Toothbride is chosen when the six tooth crests the gum. Her husband uses her mouth for his mouth. A century now, when men are born hunters, hunters born with zero teeth, just a horseshoe of pink soft gums. Circling their jaws like a top hat, on the inside. Likes her pearl on her ring finger, that one that tells her, she matters.


Kissing makes a women forget how to chew. Teaching a ToothBride how to chew, again, is like teaching a saint how to grind pepper from a pig. Husbands who are preoccupied kissers have found themselves living off broth. Toothbride had loved once. Had worn a man’s mouth like a top hat or chainmail. Squeezing kisses from the throat. “My throat is just a celery stick away.” She says. What she means, is what she meant. A throat if unsupplied with a kiss, will crisp into a stick. Stick enough to beat a scrap hound until it eats scraps.