Friday, May 19, 2006

Dentist Poem

I suffer from karma of the mouth.
My tongue is a dried snail
in a strange cave of machinery
and metal
which clinks on my teeth.
A fine powder of ground bone and cold water
spray up from the tools
and the smell is like the end of the world;
my bones cast up in dust drifting through the afternoon sunlight
One hour in the chair:
penance for years of
floss-less bedtime, for
the unwillingness of toes
to touch the January floor
for the ten steps to the bathroom;
Failure to clean the bony crevices,
flush out the last of dinner,
brush away the accumulation of the day.
In penance, I lay with a drill
shaking my skull,
a stranger's hands in my mouth
which is wide
open to the failings
of my character.

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