Lines Written on the Back of a Tooth
Look, here. Wisdom is wanting. On a clear day,
anchor the mirror, then anchor two. Don’t chew.
With a tongue, probe the groove. Nudge the bud
’til it throbs, then drag yourself to the waiting room.
In order to excise the molar gone wrong,
the expert will put you under. Not quite the sting
of the acacia ant; nobody’s fired a staple
through your cheek. No one’s dropped a red coal
on your tongue, then forced the jaw shut.
On the contrary: all at sea, the thing you’ll feel
feels like nothing at all. Wait while he grabs
the neck of the tooth, drills the maple
and drains the sap. After the pluck,
you’re barely able to part pith from flesh.
A fog will befuddle your moves.
Draw carefully from the scoop of a spoon;
be sure not to suck. When the reasoning brain
returns, you’ll come back, too,
but I’m the bit you’ll be missing.
Slipped between pillowcase and pillow,
I’ll be carried away by the fairies—
a yellow clench under a cushion,
with one wish: Little prison, little mouth,
let me find a way to enclose you.