In the dream, my mouth felt weird. I ran my tongue over my gums, the way I used to in ninth grade when I had braces on, and I could feel something moving against the dark insides of my mouth. In the mirror, my gums looked swollen. Something wriggled just below smooth pink surface. I reached in with a pair of tweezers, and pulled out a tiny, perfect snake, alive and curling into coils. I dropped it into the grass. I looked into the mirror again, and saw other little snakes, embedded in my gums. “I might as well pull them all out,” I thought to myself. Carefully, with the tweezers, I yanked each tiny snake out of my gums, pulling it from my mouth and dropping it onto the grass.
When I woke up, I could not speak.