Maslen Bode

Five Ducklings

Maslen meets a man in a coffee shop in London, but the daydream always stops before he asks her anything. The dream’s allure isn’t about mystery. It’s that no one ever has to make any choices. Maslen tells Sabrina about the dreams she had growing up. In them, she manufactured impossible decisions: save her dog or her friend’s father, get kidnapped or die. Sabrina calls these intrusive thoughts. Maslen explains they weren’t intrusive, because she invited them in. Maslen has a dream where five of her teeth fall out while at dinner with friends. It happens one at a time. Each time, she places the new tooth on the table, next to her fork. The teeth are yellow, five ducklings in a row. No one notices her careful arrangement. She begins to feel the void, so she stuffs her fingers into her mouth to occupy the newly empty spaces. Her friends turn to her and are disturbed by what they see. The dream shifts. Maslen is still at dinner, this time with teeth intact. She now tells her friends about the dream. How she lost exactly five teeth and no one cared until her hands were in her mouth. She thinks it is hilarious and grand. Her friends are quiet.

Maslen Bode is a poet from Boston. She was selected as one of the Yale College 2020 poets. She recently abandoned veganism.



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