A little boy lives in my mouth. It is not a novel concept. I’ve heard stories from others. He eats popcorn kernels and candy that I get stuck in my teeth. A few bits of chicken from time to time. His diet is the sticky bits of my diet He shits in the hole where my back molar used to be, but cleans it regularly with a piece of hair that I almost swallowed once (his only possession.) He does not give me psychic visions and he does not shine anything. Not my teeth. Not my even tongue (although a shiny tongue would set me up for success in this world of fools.) He does not scream when I swallow him.
I own my mouth. It is a space that I claim. The little boy, though born of speech vibrations and half-formed sentences and mumbled prayers, is not of me anymore than the ideas filtering through my brain can be said to be of me, anymore than any of our thoughts can said to be our own and separate from the gibbering cloud of Over-Thoughts in which our minds swim.
I keep the little boy around to remind me that we are all inhabitants of someone’s mouth.