Brushing Teeth – Christina Thatcher

As a child I heard that toothpaste
was made from the bodies of dead
sea creatures. Tiny things. Cretaceous.

This knowledge brought me closer
to the sea. And with it, my life began
to erode in the mornings and at night:

the sink became a whale’s mouth,
gaping, expectant. The swish swish
of bristles and foam turned to waves

lapping and tidal against my cheeks.
My wooden footstool played the boat,
rickety yet smooth beneath my toes.

And with every Captain’s spit and jaunty rinse
I moved inland again, slowly,
back to shore.

(From the collection More than you were, available from Parthian Books)


Shortlisted for the Bare Fiction Debut Poetry Collection Competition in 2015 and a winner in the Terry Hetherington Award for Young Writers in 2016, Christina Thatcher’s poetry and short stories have featured in a number of publications including The London MagazinePlanet Magazine, Acumen and The Interpreter’s House. Her first collection, More than you were, was published by Parthian Books in 2017.

Thatcher grew up in America but has made a happy home in Wales with her husband, Rich, and cat, Miso. She is a part-time teacher and PhD student at Cardiff University where she studies how creative writing can impact the lives of people bereaved by addiction. Christina keeps busy off campus too as the Poetry Editor for The Cardiff Review and as a freelance workshop facilitator and festival coordinator.

To learn more about Thatcher’s work visit her website: or follow her on Twitter: @writetoempower.


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